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Smith Road subdivision plan draws concerns

March 13, 2002|BY DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A proposed subdivision near the intersection of Smith Road and U.S. 340 drew concerns Tuesday night, including comments from one man who said the development would be built in an area where water wells are drying up.

Ed Hannon, who lives near the property where Smith Mountain Estates would be built, told Jefferson County Planning Commission members that existing water wells in the area are "drying up almost on a daily basis."

The development would require drilling of 10 additional wells, said Hannon.

Elizabeth Blake, the Bolivar, W.Va., representative to the planning commission, also expressed concern about well water supplies. Wells have been drying up in neighboring Berkeley County and perhaps the problem is starting to spread to Jefferson County, Blake said.

Blake discussed having a Jefferson County Health Department official appear before the commission to talk about well water supplies in the area.

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Ed Johnson, a surveyor working on the project, said the health department did not inform him of any possible well problems in the area of Smith Road, which is south of Charles Town.

Smith Mountain Estates would consist of 10 houses on 10-acre lots, said Johnson. Developer Deepinder Singh said the homes will be designed like "small farmettes" where people can have horses.

Despite concerns over well water supplies in the area and building the subdivision in a agricultural area, the planning commission approved a community impact statement for the development.

The next step is submission of a preliminary plan, which will show a detailed layout of the development, said Johnson.

In another matter, the planning commission rejected a request from the Jefferson County League of Women Voters to have Richard Tustian appear before the organization to answer questions about a comprehensive plan proposal Tustian has developed for the county.

Some planning commission members believe Tustian should not talk to community groups until he has finished his work for the planning commission.

Blake said that's not right, adding there are bound to be many groups affected by the plan that would want to ask questions about it.

"Well then they can get the report and read it," said planning commission President Scott Coyle.

A comprehensive plan generally describes how the county should grow. Specifics are laid out through zoning regulations.

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