County Comment: Public hearing set for Urban Growth Area Zoning Text

County Comment
Public hearing set for Urban Growth Area Zoning Text and May Amendments; Urban Growth Area Boundary Adjustments
By Norman Bassett, Public Information Officer

The Washington County Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing to receive public comment on the proposed Comprehensive Rezoning in the Urban Growth Area and adjustments to the Urban Growth Area Boundary on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 between 6pm and 9pm in the Hager Hall Conference and Event Center, 901 Dual Highway, Hagerstown, Maryland.
The hearing is for the purpose of presenting the proposed Zoning Ordinance text and map amendments, the Urban Growth Area Boundary Adjustments, and taking public input. The proposed amendments are designed and intended to implement Comprehensive Plan recommendations in the Urban Growth Area, which is a designated area of Washington County surrounding Hagerstown, Williamsport and Funkstown. The proposed amendments include the Planning Commission's modifications after input from the October 12 and 14, 2010 hearings.
The proposed amendments include a variety of changes to the text of zoning districts in the Urban Growth Area. These proposed changes include additions or deletions of some permitted and special exception uses in some districts, changes in some minimum lot size requirements in some districts, improved design guidelines for landscaping, lighting, buffering, sidewalks and recreation areas in many districts, improved procedures and increased information requirements in some districts, deletion of some districts that are no longer effective and the addition of several new zoning categories. The proposed amendments also include changes to the zoning district on some, but not all, individual properties in the Urban Growth Area. Individual property owners will not receive a separate notice as they did for the October hearings. The amendments affect only properties in the County and not within any municipal boundaries. The proposal also includes recommendations for several small adjustments to the Urban Growth Area Boundary as designated in the adopted 2002 Comprehensive Plan.
The proposed zoning text and map amendments and the proposed adjustments to the Urban Growth Area Boundary are available for review from Washington County's web site, Interested parties should select Proposed Urban Growth Area Zoning Amendments from the "Latest News" tab and follow the appropriate links. The proposed text and map amendments and Urban Growth Area Boundary adjustments are available for review in the Planning Commission offices located in the Washington County Administrative Annex building at 80 West Baltimore Street, in Hagerstown between 8am and 4pm.
All interested parties that plan to comment during the hearing are encouraged to notify the Planning Department prior to the start of the hearing by sending name and address in an e/mail to Parties interested in speaking may also sign up at the site prior to the start of the hearing. All parties that wish to comment will be heard.
Individuals requiring special accommodations are requested to contact the Washington County Planning Department at 240-313-2430, Voice 240-313-2435 Voice/TDD to make arrangements no later than ten (10) working days prior to the meeting. Any person desiring a stenographic transcript shall be responsible for supplying a competent stenographer.