Ranson has more than tripled in size through a recent series of annexations.
Prime commercial sites could be identified by considering characteristics such as their proximity to railroad, highways and utilities, Peters said.
Once the sites are identified, they will be highlighted on a map, said Mark Dyck, a landscape architect who has been working on the proposal.
Some of the prime sites could be along W.Va. 9, Peters said. Much of the property along W.Va. 9 is in the rural zone, although developers sometimes can get permission to build residential projects in those areas by going through the LESA system.
LESA, the Land Evaluation Site Assessment, is a scoring process used to determine whether developers can build in the rural area.
The Jefferson County Development Authority is proposing that Dyck be paid $13,500 to develop the plan. The development authority is paying a third of the cost, and it is hoped that cities and the county commission will help pay the rest of the amount, Peters said.
Although County Commissioner Al Hooper said the county needs more commercial development to build its tax base, he was concerned that such a plan is being presented at a time when the county's comprehensive plan still is being drafted.
A comprehensive plan dictates how the county should grow in coming years.
Peters responded to Hooper's concerns by saying she believed the commercial land proposal could be developed at the same time with the comprehensive plan.
"I like the idea because it allows us to plan, which is what we have been weak on," Commissioner Rusty Morgan said.