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Jefferson planners OK business park plan

April 27, 2005|BY DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA.

Jefferson County planning officials gave preliminary approval Tuesday night to a 100-acre industrial park in a "very special" part of the county that is known for its rich farmland.

The Jefferson County Planning Commission approved a community impact statement for the Sunnyside Industrial Park after a long discussion about how wastes from the industrial park would be handled and what kind of geology is at the site.

Planning Commissioner John Sims, a geologist, said many sinkholes are in the area where the Sunnyside Industrial Park is proposed and he wants to know what type of ground septic tanks at the park will be draining into.

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The planning commission gave preliminary approval to the project under certain conditions, including that a hydrological study be conducted in the area.

The hydrological study will examine how water flows in the underground area at the site.

A representative speaking on behalf of the developers emphasized that industrial wastes cannot be dumped into septic systems.

Other conditions for the approval of the industrial park included that buildings in the park not exceed 50 feet in height, that the buildings have "earth tone" colors, that exterior lighting be controlled and certain types of industrial operations be prohibited. Those businesses would include concrete plants, slaughter houses, salvage yards, explosives manufacturing or sawmills.

The project still needs preliminary plat and final plat approval before work can begin.

The industrial park would be along Wheatland Road, which extends off U.S. 340.

The 100-acre site would be divided into 13 lots, officials said.

There has been a push for more business growth in the county, and attorney Jim Campbell, who represented the developers, encouraged the planning commission to approve the project and "add to the economic health of this county."

But the industrial park would be in an area that has rich farmland and is beloved by people who enjoy farming and other outdoor activities, speakers at the meeting said.

Jefferson County Commission member Rusty Morgan, who was speaking as a nearby landowner, requested that the developer of the industrial park, Sunnyside LLC, pay attention to the way the site is lighted and that they plant conifer buffers around the park.

One of the conditions for approval was that lighting at the park be directed downward.

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