WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — Washington County has grown tremendously over the years. Some people in Hagerstown feel the city may be losing some of its character, becoming more of a warehouse town.
“When I was little, there was more farmland, and there was more open space,” Hagerstown native Teresa Hawbaker said.
Hawbaker said she has witnessed Hagerstown and Washington County’s evolution. She explained that recently that’s involved big corporations taking over the land.
“I’ve seen a lot of people that are moving here to commute to D.C. and Baltimore and Frederick because it’s cheaper here than living down there, which I get,” Hawbaker said, noting that means a lot more development and the expanding footprint of warehouses.
Hagerstown Mayor Emily Keller said the developments are helping the city and its people by offering more services and employment opportunities which have been in short supply in recent years.
“Growth is a good thing, and obviously, we don’t want to lose our Hagerstown charm, and I don’t think that we will, but growth can be a good thing, especially when it comes to putting people to work,” Keller said.
Some people agree that change could be a good thing.
“I would say, economically, it’s growing in a pretty positive direction, Hagerstown native Ebrima Cham said. “There’s a lot more factory jobs, in general, available to the public, to all kinds of people.”
“We had a beautiful city. I just don’t want to ruin it,” Hawbaker said. “I don’t want it to be another Baltimore or even New York City where we’re just all buildings and people.”