Community Rescue Service proposing new station in Maugansville

December 11, 2011|By ANDREW SCHOTZ |

MAUGANSVILLE — Community Rescue Service is considering buying land in Maugansville and building a new ambulance station.

The nonprofit ambulance company is proposing to buy L. Jason Baer’s property at 13632 Village Mill Road, at the intersection of Horst Lane.

The company would build a two-bay ambulance station close to Baer’s existing house, according to plans on file at the Washington County Department of Planning & Zoning.

Baer would continue living in the house. Once he moved away or died, CRS would tear the house down.

The proposal first needs a variance because the lot size isn’t large enough for both the house and a new ambulance station.

The county’s board of zoning appeals is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday on the variance request.

CRS responds to calls from three places — its headquarters off Eastern Boulevard in Hagerstown, the Western Enterprise fire station in Hagerstown and the Maugansville fire station. CRS has one ambulance at each fire station.

R. David Hays, the assistant chief of operations for CRS, said the company has kept an ambulance at the Maugansville fire station since 1982, as both entities recognized a need for rescue service in the area.

CRS and Maugansville’s fire company have grown, and it’s time for CRS to find its own space, Hays said.

CRS has looked at commercial properties in the Maugansville area that would have cost $400,000 or $500,000, beyond the company’s budget, he said.

Baer did not return a phone message left at his home on Friday.

Robert and Hope Mothershed, who live across Village Mill Drive from Baer, are not happy about CRS’ proposal.

Hope Mothershed said an ambulance station would be out of character in the residential neighborhood and could lower local property values.

She said she has talked to several people in the neighborhood, to make sure they knew about the proposal, and no one has supported it.

“I just don’t see this being anywhere near an ideal location to put it,” Robert Mothershed said.

Washington County’s zoning law requires at least 20,000 square feet of land for each occupied structure on a parcel.

Therefore, the ambulance station and Baer’s house would need a total of 40,000 square feet, but the parcel only has 33,720 square feet, according to a letter Hays wrote to the board of zoning appeals.

CRS’ proposed station would be 4,200 square feet, with two drive-through ambulance bays and office space. It would operate 24 hours a day and would have two to four employees on-site, Hays’ letter says.

If the board of zoning appeals approves the variance, CRS would submit a site plan for the proposed ambulance station.

If you go ...

What: Washington County Board of Zoning Appeals hearing on Community Rescue Service’s variance request

When: Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Where: Washington County Commissioners’ meeting room, 100 W. Washington St., Hagerstown

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