Advertisement

Developer's school site offers a decent start, but not enough

February 09, 2000

A Virginia development company that wants to put a 3,000-home housing development in Jefferson County, W.Va. is offering the county commissioners a 75-acre site for a new high school if they endorse the project. Considering the possible impact of the development, that doesn't seem like nearly enough.

The project would be built on a 1,000-acre parcel along U.S. 340 near Page Jackson Elementary School and would have 2,100 homes, 750 townhomes and 450 condominiums or apartments.

It is described in terms that suggest a self-contained community, complete with playgrounds, a network of interconnecting sidewalks and an Olympic-sized pools, all built around a new shopping and office complex.

Even if only half the homes send one child to school, that's 1,500 new students. A new high school site would take care of the older ones, but what about the nearby elementary school?

Advertisement

And let's assume, for a moment, that each property only accounts for one car trip per day. That's an extra 3,000 cars a day heading out on local roads, provided of course that some households don't have more than one car, or that those one-car families won't make lots of trips to places like Little League, music lessons and the like.

Yes, we've been told that the final build-out of the development won't take place for 12 to 25 years, but in truth, how fast it's filled up will depend on how much demand is generated.

We believe that for a development of this size, a school site is just part of what the developer should offer. Some cash to expand the elementary school would be nice, as would some money to upgrade local roads.

If the developer truly wants a positive, long-term relationship with the county, let the developer's representatives and county officials collaborate on a new community that will fit comfortably into Jefferson County and the surrounding community. That will take some cash, but building in quality now will ensure the developer of a product that will be easier to sell, and one which everyone involved can be proud of.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|