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Some in Berkeley concerned about subdivision

April 05, 2000|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Potential drainage problems concerning Summer Hill, the largest proposed development in the county, were aired this week.

Hunter Wilson's two-phase proposal calls for 292 lots off Paynes Ford Road south of Martinsburg and a mile east of U.S. 11.

Wilson has already received approval for the first part, which included about a quarter of the lots, according to Berkeley County Planning Administrator Harry Carter.

Wilson is seeking a permit to build 216 lots in the second phase.

Neighbors in and around nearby Southlawn Estates, a neighboring development, told the Berkeley County Planning Commission Monday night that Summer Hill could cause severe storm water problems if the second phase is built.

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"If they would put their own holding ponds in, that would be fine, but they're pushing their water down to us," Southlawn resident Leslie Rogers said after the hearing.

The ditch 20 feet from her property has flooded three or four times in the last 10 years, and she's worried it could happen again, she said.

Her husband, Mark, said the couple may consider moving after living there for 10 years.

"My concern is we protect the Pikeside floodway," Doug Bayer told the commission.

Bayer, who developed Southlawn 13 years ago and lives there, urged commission members to revoke a storm water management waiver Wilson previously received.

The commission voted, with one abstention, to table the proposal and the public hearing until the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service submits recommendations and requirements for storm water controls.

The Planning Commission granted Wilson a waiver in February, but the county's engineering department recommended against it.

Waivers are allowed if a development will not generate more than a 10 percent increase in the peak discharge rate, while Summer Hill was expected to have a 27 percent increase, the engineering department said.

"We may not have acted in the best interest" in issuing the waiver, commission member Linda Barnhart said Monday.

Curtis Keplinger, a surveyor working for Wilson, told the commission that there were "some inaccuracies" in an initial report but declined to explain his comment after the hearing.

Wilson defended his project to the commission and to critics but said he will work on reducing the projected discharge.

"I'm not trying to come out and create any problems," he said outside the Planning Commission building. "We'll come back and work with engineers."

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