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Developer asks Charles Town Council to annex Hunt Field

November 23, 2001

Developer asks Charles Town Council to annex Hunt Field



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro


CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Hunt Field, the 3,300-home development proposed for a 1000-acre tract southwest of Charles Town, may be annexed into the city if the City Council honors the developer's request.

Jim Duszynski, senior vice president of Greenvest L.C., the Vienna, Va., developer of Hunt Field, asked the council this week to annex his property, a move that could more than double the size of this historic Jefferson County town.

In addition, the council was asked to add 214 acres to the 178 acres it has already annexed in 1999 and 2000 for Norborne Glebe, an 800-home development, also on the southwest end of the city.

Earlier this month, the council heard a request from Allen Henry, owner of Panhandle Homes Inc., in Berkeley County, W.Va., to annex eight acres between Samuel Street and W.Va. 9. Henry said he wants to build a 71-unit townhouse development on the land.

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West Virginia law bans municipalities from imposing impact fees on developers. The council passed a resolution, that while it has no weight of law, gives the city some bargaining power. According to the resolution, adopted Oct. 1, the council can "consider voluntary offers of contributions to offset the impact of the proposed annexation."

The council's finance committee reviews all annexation requests to see what considerations would be requested of developers. The final say rests with the council.

Duszynski, in prepared remarks, told the council this week that he was "exploring annexation because we understand the impact Hunt Field will have on Charles Town - simply because of its location."

The proposed development is less than a mile from the city's corporate limits, City Manager Jane Arnett said.

Duszynski said he could meet all requirements that Jefferson County would impose on his development without being annexed to Charles Town.

"However, we have always looked at the physical relationship to Charles Town and understood that working with the city government was important on many fronts," Duszynski said in prepared remarks. "It is our desire to integrate our community with the existing community of Charles Town, starting with the design of the community as an extension of Charles Town.

"We always envisioned a partnership with Charles Town. If the annexation is approved it will serve to formalize that relationship."

According to a state law passed in July, municipalities can annex property without permission from their surrounding counties.

Charles Town has 1,396 housing units, occupied and unoccupied, Arnett said. The city's population in 2000 was 2,907.

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