A Greyhound bus stop on Dual Highway near Hagerstown ceased operations last week after a Washington County zoning board in January denied a special exception allowing the operation, a bus company official said Thursday.
The bus stop was operated by Hub City Shippers, which had served as the ticket agent since December 2010. Hub City Shippers moved from a previous location on Dual Highway to Foxshire Plaza at 1423 Dual Highway, just outside of Hagerstown, in November 2011.
“We’re very interested in the possibility of operating in the area, but from what we’ve been told, there’s no zoning currently where we’re at,” Greyhound spokesman Timothy Stokes said.
Stokes said the nearest location for Hagerstown area riders is now in Frederick, Md., about 22 miles east of the city.
The question of whether the bus stop could operate at Foxshire Plaza went before the Washington County Board of Zoning Appeals on Jan. 4 after complaints from nearby residents and employees of the shopping center surfaced.
A special exception would have been required because the plaza is zoned Business General, which does not permit a bus stop.
Foxshire Plaza owner Sassan Shaool requested the special exception to the county’s zoning ordinance on behalf of Hub City Shippers and attended the hearing on behalf of his lessee, Jeff Paules of the shipping company.
Area residents spoke at the hearing, complaining of increased littering, loitering and public urination around the plaza, and blaming the problem on riders who were waiting for the Greyhound to arrive or who had just gotten off the bus.
The board unanimously denied the special exception request, saying in its ruling that “the record was replete with testimony that showed the adverse effects of this use were particularly acute .... Parking is inadequate, as is the general lack of facilities to accommodate bus passengers, including restroom facilities, waiting facilities and handicapped access.”
Paules said previously he was looking at new locations to move his business, possibly within the Hagerstown city limits, so he could continue to operate the bus terminal.
However, Paules said Thursday that he unsure whether Greyhound would return to Hagerstown.
“Greyhound’s gone because of the county, so they’re servicing out of Frederick now,” he said. “People are rightfully upset.”
Stokes said Greyhound was open to the idea of serving the Hagerstown area if a suitable location could be found.