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Details on Hunt Field to be revealed at public hearing

March 23, 2000|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The developers of the proposed 3,300-home Hunt Field subdivision will present detailed plans for the project during a public hearing Tuesday, according to the county's planning director.

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The only time the Hunt Field developers have appeared before the Jefferson County Planning Commission was when they received permission to submit a "bubble" plan for the project.

A bubble plan shows generally where different types of development would be located and how they would be connected by main roads.

A sketch plat showing each individual building lot is typically filed for subdivisions, but with Hunt Field size that would have been tedious and would not have provided a good overview of the property, said surveyor R. Michael Shepp, who is working on the project.

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After the developers of Hunt Field explain the project at next Tuesday's public hearing, the public will be able to offer comments, said Jefferson County Planning Director Paul Raco.

Executives with Greenvest L.C., the Vienna, Va., firm proposing the planned community, will also have the chance to address those public comments, Raco said.

The Planning Commission will then have the opportunity to accept or reject the developers' community impact statement, which explains the project, Raco said.

The planning commissioners can accept the community impact statement, accept it with certain conditions, or reject it, although reasons for rejection must be given, Raco said.

It is expected that Greenvest will be allowed to develop the subdivision as long as it follow the county's land use laws, Raco said.

A large number of people are expected to attend the hearing, Raco said, adding that his office has fielded about 25 inquiries from the public about the project.

The hearing will take place during the Planning Commission's regular meeting, which is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the County Meeting Room beside the Jefferson County Courthouse on Washington Street.

Hunt Field's possible impact on traffic and schools has caused concern among some town and school officials.

The development is expected to generate an additional 1,650 students, and Jefferson County Board of Education members have expressed concerned over how they will pay for new schools to serve the students.

An estimated 24,450 cars are expected to pass in and out of the subdivision, to be located on 1,000 acres south of Charles Town, and Charles Town Council member Matt Ward is concerned how that will affect an already congested downtown.

Greenvest is required to conduct a traffic study on intersections near the site to determine how the cars will affect local traffic.

Raco said that study and a historical and archaeological study have been completed by Greenvest.

The historical and archaeological study says there is a high probability for archaeological artifacts on the land. But that is typical on land that has low areas around streams, Raco said.

There is a wetland area and stream on the proposed Hunt Field site, Raco said.

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