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Hagerstown City Council backs rezoning Pangborn property

March 20, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — Reversing a previous straw poll, the Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday tentatively voted to allow a longstanding rezoning request for a large former industrial property on Pangborn Boulevard.

The owner of the land, Pangborn Corp., submitted a request to rezone the property at 580 Pangborn Blvd. from Neighborhood Mixed-Use, or N-MU, to Professional Office Mixed-Use, POM, on the grounds that a mistake was made by city officials when the property was comprehensively rezoned in 2010.

In a nonbinding vote at the March 6 work session, the five-member council asked that the city planning commission revisit the facts of the request in light of comments made by City Attorney John Urner that there was insufficient evidence the city had made a mistake.

The preliminary agenda for the March 27 meeting included a resolution to deny the request, but the council Tuesday informally voted 3-2 in favor of changing the resolution that would appear on next meeting’s agenda to approve the rezoning request.

Councilwoman Ashley C. Haywood and Councilmen Martin E. Brubaker and Forrest W. Easton were in favor of changing the motion, while Councilmen William Breichner and Lewis C. Metzner were against it.

“Upon further examination, I do think that there is credibility to the argument that we made a mistake, and I think we need to expedite the process to allow this property” to be rezoned, Haywood said.

Attorney Jason M. Divelbiss, who represents Pangborn Corp., applied for the change because the use of the buildings, which have been vacant for more than a decade, no longer holds true under N-MU zoning.

“We’re pleased upon further deliberation that (the) council changed their mind,” Divelbiss said of Tuesday’s proceedings.

It has been a long process for Pangborn Corp., which petitioned for a 5.16-acre tract of the 13-acre property to be annexed into the city in late 2011, in addition to the rezoning.

The purpose of the rezoning request is to increase the land’s marketability for potential sale, Pangborn Corp. representative Dan Koenig has said.

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