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Subdivision plan for Harvest Hills includes school site

February 14, 2001

Subdivision plan for Harvest Hills includes school site



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A developer of a proposed large subdivision along Flowing Springs Road has set aside 23 acres for a school site.

The school site would be in a 392-home subdivision that would be known as Harvest Hills.

Two acres have also been set aside for a church site, and plans also call for the relocation of Duffields train station, a busy commuter station along Flowing Springs Road.

Several attempts to reach the developer for more information about the project were unsuccessful.

Arcadia Development Co. of Leesburg, Va., is listed as one of the developers, according to records in the Jefferson County Planning Commission office.

Although Neil Reinhard, the person in charge of the development, could not be reached for comment, an employee at Arcadia Development said Reinhard set aside land for schools for two developments the company built in the Leesburg area.

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"That's something he's always interested in. He always likes to have a school nearby," said Sara Moore.

Moore said she could not provide more details about the proposed Harvest Hills subdivision.

The subdivision would have an estimated 105 elementary school students, 47 junior high school students and 43 high school students, according to the plans in the planning commission office.

The 371-acre development, which would be near the CSX train tracks, is in an area zoned rural agricultural. Only limited development is allowed in the zone.

To build a development the size of Harvest Hills, the developers must obtain a conditional use permit from the planning commission.

A neighborhood compatibility hearing has been scheduled for the project on Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. in the county meeting room beside the Jefferson County Courthouse on Washington Street.

The plan to offer 23 acres for a school site follows numerous public discussions in the county about the need to build new schools.

Jefferson High School, the county's only high school, is over capacity and is showing signs of wear. School officials are also worried about a possible surge in the county's school population in coming years.

If Harvest Hills' offer of land is for public schools, it will be the second developer to offer land to the Board of Education.

Developers of the proposed 3,300-home Hunt Field development, which would be built south of Charles Town, have offered the school system 75 acres for construction of new schools.

Board of Education member Pete Dougherty said he does not know anything about the Harvest Hills project.

Dougherty said the board of education would be pleased if the developer wants to give land to the school system.

But sometimes there are strings attached to such offers, Dougherty said.

Developers may offer land if the school system agrees to build a school there. That is something the board of education would have trouble accepting, Dougherty said.

Superintendent of Schools David W. Markoe said he has not been contacted about the Harvest Hills development.

Markoe did remember receiving a phone call from a man wanting to know if the school system was interested in additional land.

Markoe said the only concern he has about the subdivision is the amount of traffic it would add to Flowing Springs Road. He said he is concerned that the two-lane road may not be able to handle much more traffic.

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