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Proposal for storage units faces opposition

September 22, 1998|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Residents of a Blue Ridge Mountain subdivision complained Tuesday night that a string of mini-storage units being planned near their homes would interfere with the rustic, quiet setting that attracted them to the development.

Shannondale, W.Va., residents say the proposed Shannondale Inc. Mini-Storage would be situated in an area where there is already dangerous traffic, and they don't want to look down on a commercial facility that would be "lit up like the Winchester (Va.) mall."

Melinda Lee Keuroglian, spokeswoman for a property owners' group known as the Citizens of Shannondale, said she wants a 12-foot wooden fence and other barriers put around the units to "make it disappear from the landscape."

Another issue mentioned at the Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Commission hearing was erecting a 20-foot concrete barrier around the storage units.

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"I doubt seriously whether you would want 20-foot barriers built in our county," said Mickey Johnson, who is proposing the project that would include up to six storage units.

Because there are so many issues for the commission to consider in the case, members agreed Tuesday to table the proposal so they can consider it further.

The self-storage units would be built along Mission Road near the intersection with Clubhouse Drive.

Shannondale, one of the biggest subdivisions in the county with about 924 homes, is just off W.Va. 9 near the West Virginia and Virginia border. Johnson is the developer of the subdivision.

The area where Johnson wants to build the units is not zoned for that type of business, county officials said. In order to be eligible for a conditional use permit, Johnson had to pass the Land Evaluation Site Assessment, a point system that either penalizes or credits a developer for requirements that can or cannot be met.

The Planning Commission is expected to consider a conditional use permit for Johnson at an Oct. 13 meeting.

Other issues residents, county officials and Johnson discussed for the facility included keeping lights no higher than the fencing around the units, evergreen buffers around the entire property and letting only Shannondale residents use the property.

Another Shannondale resident said he believes the units are not compatible with the area because they would be across the street from a large state-owned recreational area.

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