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Hearing dates set for Jefferson Co. zoning plan

February 02, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County residents will get a chance to comment on proposed new land-use regulations for the county during public hearings on Feb. 23 and 24.

The hearings on a new zoning plan for the county will begin at 7 p.m. on both days and will be held in the county meeting room at the Charles Town Library at 200 E. Washington St.

Zoning controls how housing and commercial development is allowed in the county.

The consideration of new zoning for the county follows concerns about the rate of development in the county, large annexations of land by the town of Ranson, W.Va., and other issues.

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The Jefferson County Commission also planned to allow the public to comment on two zoning proposals that were drafted by Paul Burke, a county resident who has supported controlled growth measures for the county.

Allowing Burke's proposals to be considered along with the county's plan drew criticism from some people, including Commissioner Jane Tabb.

Tabb said that by allowing Burke's proposals to be considered at the public hearings, the commissioners were not offering a level playing field.

Last Thursday, the commissioners rescinded their initial plan to hold hearings on Feb. 15 and 16 on the county's zoning proposal and the two zoning proposals offered by Burke.

The commissioners decided to push the hearings back a week and to seek public input only on the county's plan.

The county's zoning proposal uses a modified LESA system to control growth, county officials said.

LESA, or Land Evaluation Site Assessment, is a scoring process used to determine whether development can occur in the county's rural zone.

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