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Commissioner unhappy with zoning plan wording

November 30, 1999|by JENNIFER FITCH

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. ? At least one Berkeley County Commission member took offense Thursday to the wording in a zoning document, saying the public could infer that the commission would take action on something that actually lies in the hands of voters.

"I've got a problem with having a piece of paper before me that says I'm going to accept a document I've never seen," Commissioner Steven C. Teufel said.

That "piece of paper" contained a schedule of public hearings and education meetings leading up to the May 2008 vote on whether to accept zoning in the county.

The zoning proposals would be made available for public review in county offices, libraries and kiosks, according to a memo reviewed at this week's commission meeting.

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They will include maps showing what zone is proposed where, Teufel said.

The commission and county staff have pushed that more meetings be held and that they be held sooner.

Teufel wants meetings scheduled for July and August, allowing the commissioners and planning commission enough time to incorporate public input. He said the schedule should be released soon.

"A public education program is essential," County Administrator Deborah Hammond said.

Election officials need the wording of a ballot question 60 days before the primary election, Berkeley County Planner Matthew Mullenax said.

A majority vote is required to adopt the zoning ordinance, officials said.

The issue of transferable development rights (TDRs) will be included into the zoning documents. Those would allow rural property owners to sell development abilities to people with public water and sewer service.

"The TDRs, they're an important component, but they're not going to be the level of interest and as controversial as the zoning is," Commissioner William L. Stubblefield said.

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