Planners turn down development

September 11, 2002|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County planners rejected a preliminary plan for a 230-unit development along U.S. 340 Tuesday night after about 30 residents came out to express concerns about the high density of homes in the development and how it would affect schools and roads.

The proposed Windmill Crossing subdivision would include 170 townhouses, 60 condominiums and 14 commercial lots on 38 acres.

Planning Commission members Sam Donley, David Hammer, Rosella Kern, Jim Gibson, Arnie Dailey, Renny Smith and Chris Stiles voted to reject the community impact statement. Dean Hockensmith and Russell Roper voted against the motion.

Residents from nearby Schaeffer's Crossroads subdivision complained that the development is not compatible with the area since Windmill Crossing would have about 12 living units per acre.


Schaeffer's Crossroads has about one home per acre.

Some who spoke out Tuesday night complained that plans for Windmill Crossing, which would be built along Marlow Road near the Spice Garden restaurant and Shultz Realty, did not show any recreation areas or storm water management plans. Speakers said there were not enough buffers for the project and not enough open space.

Aimee Frye said the developer of the project, Christopher Shultz, will argue that the development is needed to provide affordable housing in the area. The problem is that a market study was not conducted to determine the demand for housing like condos, Frye said.

"This is more about how much money he can wheel out in a wheelbarrow," Frye told the Jefferson County Planning Commission.

The commission was given a petition containing 131 signatures of people who are opposed to the development.

The planning commission rejected the development's community impact statement, which generally describes what the project will look like.

Smith said the community impact statement was vague and "too confusing."

Elizabeth Blake, a nonvoting planning commission member, said although improvements to roads around the development are planned, including an additional traffic signal, she feared there would be traffic snarls in the area.

Gibson said having a dense development like Windmill Crossing next to a much less dense development like Schaeffer's Crossroads "doesn't seem to cut it."

A representative for Shultz said the community impact statement was only a concept for the development. The county's chief planner, Stephen R. Bockmiller, said Shultz provided all the required information for the community impact statement and he recommended its approval.

Many of the issues talked about in the meeting such as storm water management, school bus issues and driveway accesses are addressed at a later stage, said Bockmiller.

Shultz can file a new community impact statement, which is likely to happen, said Dirk Stansbury, of Yebernetsky, Roberts and Stansbury Surveyors and Engineers.

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