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Pangborn rezoning, annexation proposal takes another step forward

November 22, 2011|By DAVE MCMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — No one spoke Tuesday night during public hearings on a proposed rezoning and annexation of property owned by the Pangborn Corp., clearing the way for the Hagerstown City Council to vote on both issues as early as Dec. 20, a city official said.

The council last month adopted a plan for annexing 5.16 acres of property along Pangborn Boulevard into the city. The council also voted 4-0 to introduce a resolution to annex the property.

Introduction of the resolution and adoption of the plan allows the city to move forward with the annexation process, which still requires a final vote.

Most of the Pangborn property lies within the city boundaries, but a more than 5-acre tract remains outside the city, City Planner Alex Rohrbaugh said previously.

The corporation has petitioned to be annexed into the city, he said.

However, annexing the remaining piece of Pangborn’s lot would isolate five residential lots farther south on Pangborn Boulevard, which are outside the city, he said.

The properties to the east, west and south of the residential lots are also within the city, according to city documents.

City Planning Director Kathy Maher said previously that city officials reached out to the five residential property owners about being annexed into the city, and they said there was nothing the city could offer that would convince them to do so.

The segment of the Pangborn property already in the city was rezoned from Industrial General to Neighborhood Mixed Use during the comprehensive rezoning process to aid the adaptive reuse of former factory buildings, Rohrbaugh said.

Since that time, Pangborn has torn down all but one building on the property. As a result, the Neighborhood Mixed Use zoning has become less appealing to the company, Rohrbaugh said before Tuesday’s meeting.

Pangborn now wants to rezone the entire property to Professional Office Mixed zoning.

Attorney Jason Divelbiss, who is representing Pangborn, told council members Tuesday night that the company is negotiating with a party who is interested in buying the property.

Changing the property’s zoning to Professional Office Mixed zoning will be compatible with what the interested party wants to do with the site, Divelbiss said.

Divelbiss, who did not identify the potential buyer, said rezoning the property to Professional Office Mixed would present “the best shot” at redeveloping the site.

Professional Office Mixed allows for office uses and limited retail, Rohrbaugh said before the meeting.

If the five-member council approves the annexation and rezoning, the part of the Pangborn property in the county would be rezoned to Professional Office Mixed, City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman said council members could vote on the annexation and the rezoning as early as Dec. 20, depending on how much progress they make in work sessions.

Pangborn engineers and builds equipment to clean objects like steel plate castings and airplane components, said Dan Koenig, vice president of operations.

The company still has a research and development operation at the site, but that will be moved to another location, said Koenig, who attended Tuesday’s hearings.

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