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County Comment: Commissioners Approve School Mitigation Proposals

County Comment
Commissioners Approve School Mitigation Proposals
by Norman Bassett, Public Information Officer
Washington County, Maryland

In its regular meeting on January 27th, the Washington County Board of County Commissioners gave approval to school mitigation proposals by two developers, heard further discussion on County Goals and purchased computer workstations.
Rosehill Manor and Regent Park subdivisions will be able to proceed with development following acceptance of the developers'' school mitigation plans, as presented by attorney Jason Divelbiss and Planning Department Director Mike Thompson.
Rosehill Manor would be located near the intersection of Longmeadow Road and Marsh Pike, and would create 132 new single-family houses. Developer Dan Ryan would pay about $750,000 to offset the cost of constructing additional seats at North Hagerstown High School to accommodate the additional 26 students the subdivision would generate. That school is at near-capacity, and the developer would pay $5,700 per house to assist in costs generated by the additional students.
Regent Park would be built on Trovinger Mill Road by Churchey Group III, LLC. That subdivision would increase the number of students at Smithsburg High School by 5 students. The developer would pay $5,800 per home to offset the additional per-pupil cost, for a total of $145,000.
Excise taxes based on the number of square feet per home would also be paid. The average size house was estimated at $2,870 square feet.
Both proposals had previously been presented to the Board, on July 8th and December 9th, 2008. The proposals were scaled down in size, and the amount of mitigation per unit increased in the plan presented on the 27th.
When proposed development causes the number of students in a school district to rise above what is called state-rated school capacity, developers are allowed to pay additional mitigation fees above and beyond the normal excise taxes on new construction.

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