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Keedysville zoning issue causes tempers to flare

May 03, 2010|By DAN DEARTH

KEEDYSVILLE -- A fiery debate marked with curse words erupted Monday during a Keedysville Town Council meeting.

The argument occurred when resident Shannon French questioned a recent decision by the Keedysville Board of Zoning Appeals, which allowed a special-exception use of a house at 29 N. Main St.

Among other things, French said the Board of Zoning Appeals didn't do its homework before granting a special request for the single-family home to be used as a multifamily apartment.

French said the 8,950-square-foot lot falls far short of the 10,000-square-foot requirement for conversion of a building to two dwelling units, and the 20,000-square-foot requirement for conversion of more than two dwelling units.

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She asked Mayor Matt Hull and the Town Council to do something about the Board of Zoning Appeals' decision.

"I'm gonna cut you off because we can't do anything about it," said Hull, who then got out of his chair and threatened to remove a man for swearing.

Hull told the audience that only the Washington County Circuit Court had the power to overturn the Board of Zoning Appeals' decision.

"The ordinances that we are supposed to go by were ignored," French said.

"I believe you were reared in an old-boy system," she told Hull, saying he supported the decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals all along.

Hull appeared to take offense at French's comments.

"The council can't do anything about it," he said. "That's the bottom line."

Editor's note: This story was edited Friday, May 7, to correct errors that appeared in the version that appeared in the Tuesday, May 4, print edition of The Herald-Mail and was published online on Monday, May 3.

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