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Hunt Field decision delayed

December 27, 2001

Hunt Field decision delayed



Charles Town, W.Va.

By KEVIN VERZICH / Staff Writer


The Charles Town Council voted unanimously Monday night to table annexation requests for three development tracts that could more than double the size of the city.

Council Chambers had standing room only as residents turned out to speak against the proposed annexation of Hunt Field, where 3,300 homes are to be built on a 1,000-acre tract southwest of Charles Town.

In addition, it has been proposed that 214 acres be added to the 178 acres already annexed in 1999 and 2000 for Norborne Glebe, an 800-home development, also on the southwest end of the city.

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Allen Henry, owner of Panhandle Homes in Berkeley County, W.Va., proposed the annexation of eight acres between Samuel Street and W.Va. 9 for a 71-unit townhouse.

The only person given the floor to speak was George Rutherford, president of the Jefferson County NAACP.

Rutherford asked the council to hold a public hearing before making any decisions to annex the proposed developments.

"Hunt Field's cost analysis ignores the cost of building schools, new fire and police stations, a new city hall, libraries, parks, etc.," Rutherford said. "School buildings alone cost $20,000 per seat.

"Furthermore, business property taxes will not go up as fast as children will arrive," Rutherford said. "We currently have a moderate amount of business and many retired people and childless couples. Hunt Field expects to have a very small business section, and to market to families with children."

Rutherford told council members they need to do more research on the economic impact on the city.

Council Member John Ward said he would not feel comfortable "voting blind." He said he would not vote until he had a full description of the cost analysis and of the developers' plans.

One group of south Charles Town residents presented the council with a petition signed by 173 residents opposing the annexation of the townhouses on Samuel Street.

Mayor J. Randolph Hilton asked council members for a motion to table the development issues until more information could be provided.

A motion was made and unanimously approved. No further discussion was permitted until the next regular meeting on Jan. 7.

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