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Comment period on proposed Jefferson County land-use laws extended.

November 30, 1999|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. ? Proposed new land-use laws for Jefferson County continue to be the source of criticism, and county officials on Thursday agreed to extend a public comment period for them.

Officials have said that the county's current land-use regulations have not been effective in managing urban and suburban growth or protecting agricultural areas.

But the new laws have come under attack for being complicated and contradictory in how they mandate minute details like what kind of fence can be around swimming pools.

One critic of the proposals, Commissioner Dale Manuel, continued to find fault with them Thursday and unsuccessfully tried to extend the period for receiving written comments from the public back one month.

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Commissioner Rusty Morgan later received support from his colleagues to push the written comment period back to Jan. 1 from Dec. 17.

Manuel called the proposed new land-use laws "ridiculous and outrageous" and local resident Jim Huyett also criticized the proposal to the commissioners.

Huyett said he is worried about the amount of taxpayer money that will be used to put the new laws into effect and Huyett added that county residents will not put up with being "micro-managed."

Commissioner Greg Corliss said he thinks the commission is on the right track for accepting public comment and said all the input will be reviewed as county officials look at changes to the plan.

The commission is in the process of holding six public meetings across the county on the plan and county planning director Tony Redman said during the first meeting in Shepherdstown, W.Va., on Nov. 28 said that work needs to be done on the plan.

"We're all screaming and shouting about things we know we will change," Redman said Thursday.

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