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Concerns persist over Hunt Field

May 08, 2001

Concerns persist over Hunt Field



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


Despite attempts by the developers of the project to make it more compatible with the community, concerns persist over the proposed Hunt Field development.

Officials remain concerned about how the public school system will handle the children from Hunt Field and how it will affect the quality of life in nearby Charles Town.

"It's about keeping it a good place to live for the rest of us," Charles Town City Council member Matt Ward said Monday.

A hearing will be held tonight to gather public comments about the community impact statement Hunt Field developers have filed. The impact statement gives details about how the planned community will be developed.

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About 3,300 homes are proposed for the development, which would be built on about 1,000 acres south of Charles Town.

The Jefferson County Planning Commission last year rejected the first community impact statement filed by Greenvest, L.C., the Vienna, Va., company that is proposing the project.

Hunt Field developers later filed a petition challenging the decision, and Jefferson County Circuit Judge Thomas W. Steptoe Jr. ordered the planning commission to accept a revised community impact statement from the developers if they wished to submit one.

In recent weeks, developers have been holding public meetings at various locations around the county to familiarize citizens with new ideas they have for the development.

Developers said they will consider paying impact fees to help the school system deal with growth. They also said they will not build homes on high elevations on the 1,000-acre site, which will prevent them from being seen from nearby historic homes.

Despite the offers from Greenvest, Board of Education Pete Dougherty said the school system does not have the resources to keep up with a development like Hunt Field.

"We don't have them today and there's no reason to believe we will have them in the future," Dougherty said.

Last September, county voters turned down a $39 million construction bond and the school system has struggled to get the school construction money it needs from the state School Building Authority.

There have also been concerns about heavy traffic that could be generated from Hunt Field. During their regular meeting Monday night, the Charles Town City Council passed a list of conditions they requested that the planning commission asked of Hunt Field developers if they pass the community impact statement.

Council members are asking the developers to consider:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Having Greenvest, L.C. build another bypass around Charles Town to divert Hunt Field traffic away from downtown.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Requiring Greenvest, L.C. to preserve rural land along U.S. 340 south of town rather than allowing it to become heavily developed like the "neon tunnel entrance" to town on East Washington Street.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Establishing a transportation service, such as bus service, between Hunt Field and Charles Town.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> If the Jefferson County Commission passes impact fees, requiring Hunt Field developers to pay the rate that the commission agrees on.

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