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County officials hear Rosewood Village request

August 30, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ
  • Sassan Shaool of Washco Developments Inc. discusses on Monday changes to the development plan for Rosewood Village off Robinwood Drive in Hagerstown during a public hearing hosted by the Washington County Commissioners and the Washington County Planning Commission.
By Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

Washington County's commissioners and planning commission heard a proposal Monday to increase the commercial part of a planned development off Robinwood Drive.

Washco Developments Inc. wants 10 town-home-style professional buildings instead of 52 town houses it planned to build as part of the Rosewood Village Development.

The project is considered a planned-use development, with multiple uses. Washco Developments is asking for an area zoned residential to become zoned for local business.

The amended plan would increase the commercial part of the project from 12 percent to 17.89 percent, according to a letter written by Sassan Shaool of Washco Developments.

Shaool has said the professional office buildings probably would be used for medical-related businesses.

The increase could lead to a daily increase in traffic in that area from 382.5 trips to 1,213.8 trips, Shaool's letter says.

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During the public hearing, Shaool said those numbers are based on traffic formulas and are uncertain.

About a dozen people were at the Washington County Courthouse on Monday for a public hearing on the new version of the plan.

Two local residents spoke.

John Porter said zoning changes should be tied to traffic relief, with developers sharing the costs.

Mike Harshman said he's concerned about the water supply in the neighborhood, saying there's "a dire need."

A house in that area was lost to fire because of a lack of water, he said.

Washington County Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire asked if there was a limit to commercial space in a planned-unit development and whether it could be, for example, 95 percent.

Washington County Chief Planner Tim Lung replied that, in theory, the percentage could be that high.

Aleshire also asked about Washco Developments' request to have the zoning amended, which, he said, is based on a "significant unforeseen change" in the character of the neighborhood.

The new medical center expected to open in December has been known for about eight years, Aleshire said.

Shaool replied that the Rosewood Village Development started in 1995 and the neighborhood has changed a lot since then.

Additional development, including a possible high school, is expected to reshape the area further, he said.

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