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Planners approve new lots

January 15, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County land planners approved plans for 96 additional lots across the county Tuesday night despite concerns from several people about schools being overcrowded and whether there is adequate water and sewer service for some of the homes.

The Jefferson County Planning Commission gave final plat approval - the last approval needed before home construction - to a 36-lot phase of the Quail Ridge subdivision along W.Va. 9 at the Berkeley/Jefferson county line and a 39-lot phase of the Maddex Farm subdivision along W.Va. 45 west of Shepherdstown.

The planning commission also approved a community impact statement for 21 additional lots in the Eastland subdivision near the intersection of Old Cave and Kabletown roads.


Jefferson County resident Paul Burke, who monitors land-use issues in the county, said Quail Ridge's community impact statement, which addresses the subdivision's impact on the community, was submitted a long time ago.

Since then, many more students have entered the school system, Burke said.

Quail Ridge's community impact statement was approved by the planning commission on Dec. 10, 2001, commission member Renny Smith said.

Burke also questioned whether there was adequate water and sewer service for Quail Ridge.

If the county wants developers to be required to give updated information about their housing plans, the county's land-use laws should be amended to require such information, said Stephen R. Bockmiller, the county's chief planner.

Dick Klein of Alpha Associates Inc., a civil engineer representing the developer of Quail Ridge, called the concerns a "smokescreen" and assured the planning commission there is sewer and water service for the development.

Planning Commission member Mark Schiavone said he voted to approve Quail Ridge and Maddex Farm because they had about 30 lots apiece and didn't feel they would have a big impact on schools.

"Just a few adds up fast," said Burke, referring to new students coming into schools. By Burke's calculations, the developments before the planning commission for approval Tuesday night would generate about 170 more students.

"That's half of a school," Burke said. "When are you going to say it's too much?"

Delores Milstead, vice president of the Jefferson County Board of Education, told the planning commission that Jefferson High School and each of the county's middle school's are overcrowded. Milstead pleaded with the planning commission to make sure students have adequate facilities.

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