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Planners support subdivision request

January 14, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - After a long delay in the courts, plans for the 392-home Harvest Hills subdivision are back on track.

The Jefferson County Planning Commission on Tuesday night approved a request to reinstate a conditional-use permit for the subdivision, which has drawn criticism in the past for several issues, including the possible traffic congestion it could cause.

A conditional-use permit initially was approved for Harvest Hills on May 22, 2001. But a group of county residents filed suit against the Jefferson County Board of Zoning Appeals and two other entities, claiming a scoring process for the development did not adequately indicate traffic, water and sewer service needs, among other issues.

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Jefferson County Circuit Judge Thomas W. Steptoe Jr. nullified the conditional-use permit for Harvest Hills, but the state Supreme Court reversed that decision last year.

The planning commission agreed to reinstate Harvest Hills' conditional-use permit based on a request from attorney Peter Chakmakian, who is representing the developers.

The planning commission also agreed to give the developers 567 days to file preliminary and final plats for the subdivision, which would be along Flowing Springs Road near Jefferson High School.

The 567 days is the amount of time that the development was held up by the Supreme Court review of the case, Chakmakian said.

Planning commission members did not ask questions about Chakmakian's request Tuesday night, and no comments from the audience were offered.

Chakmakian said he does not know when construction of homes might start in Harvest Hills. Some road construction had begun in a section of the subdivision that already had been approved by the county, Chakmakian said.

A public hearing will be held when the subdivision's final plat is filed, a county official said.

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