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Developers fighting denial of permit for construction

October 14, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - Jefferson County officials might consider establishing a national park at a Civil War battlefield near Shepherdstown, W.Va., but developers who want to build homes there are fighting for their project.

An attorney representing Far Away Farm LLC has filed papers in Jefferson County Circuit Court challenging the Jefferson County Zoning Board of Appeals' decision to deny a conditional-use permit to allow the construction of 100 homes.

Attorney Richard Gay claims the zoning board of appeals made errors such as refusing to accept evidence by a traffic expert that the subdivision's traffic impact would comply with the county's land-use laws.

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The zoning board of appeals also disregarded a development review system which would determine the compatibility of the property for higher housing densities, Gay said in the paperwork.

One of the issues surrounding the development was the amount of traffic that it would generate on Trough Road.

Gay has said a traffic study was completed on a handful of intersections on Trough Road as part of the application process for the development.

The study revealed there were no problems relating to state or federal highway requirements, Gay said.

In the papers challenging the zoning board of appeals decision, which were filed Wednesday, Gay is asking Circuit Court Judge Thomas W. Steptoe to declare the decision unlawful.

County Commission President Rusty Morgan said Thursday night it's unclear how Gay's case will affect the commission's plans.

Morgan said he left a message with Far Away Farm developers to get their input on the commission's plans about a public hearing and never heard back from them.

"Essentially, we've decided to go ahead without their cooperation," Morgan said.

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