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Jefferson Zoning Board denies appeal on Harvest Hills

April 19, 2001

Jefferson Zoning Board denies appeal on Harvest Hills



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


An appeal filed over the scoring process that is allowing developers of the controversial Harvest Hills subdivision to continue with the project was denied Thursday.

Because the property along Flowing Springs Road where the 392-unit subdivision would be built is zoned for agricultural use, the planning commission had to score it using the Land Evaluation Site Assessment test to determine if it is eligible for development.

Harvest Hills scored 57.47 on the LESA test, while those who filed the appeal gave it a score of 89.47.

If a development is assessed a score of 60 or higher, the development cannot be taken before the Jefferson County Planning Commission for consideration.

The people who appealed the LESA score used maps and charts to argue their case before the Jefferson County Board of Zoning Appeals Thursday afternoon.

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One of the appellants, Greg Corliss, said the City of Charles Town's sewer treatment plant has a capacity for 2,000 more houses in the county.

But about 3,622 sewer hookups have already been approved when all the subdivisions that are currently in the approval process are taken into consideration, Corliss said.

"So we have a shortfall already. I'm just using these figures to show you we're going in the wrong direction," Corliss said.

Residents near the Duffields area where Harvest Hills would be built said they are worried that the development will aggravate already congested traffic conditions along Flowing Springs Road, the main road between Charles Town and Shepherdstown that would serve the development.

Residents are also worried about how the development would affect farming operations in the area, particularly farmers' ability to safely move their equipment on Flowing Springs Road.

A list of variables is used to score developments using the LESA test, including soil types on the land, distance to growth corridors, comprehensive plan compatibility, proximity to schools, public water availability and other factors.

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