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Mayor wants study of traffic on W.Va. 9

November 09, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Charles Town Mayor Peggy Smith said Tuesday she wants officials to study traffic needs along W.Va. 9 east of the city where a mix of development including single-family homes, an assisted living center, a medical center, a child-care center and other facilities are being considered.

The proposal by Oakland United Methodist Church drew concerns from several people at a Charles Town Council meeting Monday night who said the city is not equipped to handle the development.

The church is seeking to have 124 acres annexed into the city as part of the proposal.

Ellen May told council members a large number of wrecks have occurred on the stretch of W.Va. 9 that runs past the proposed development site and putting more cars on the road will aggravate the situation.

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Other speakers, including council member Matt Ward, said the city does not have any plans to deal with more annexations, such as improved roads.

Smith said an examination of traffic needs in the area should be done, especially given the traffic being generated in the area from existing homes.

The Crosswinds subdivision is across from the site and a new Catholic church is being built nearby, which will have more than 3,000 members, Smith said.

"If you have this across the street, we're thinking the Department of Highways will be saying, 'You need a traffic light there,''' Smith said.

Smith said the state Department of Highways will help the city determine what type of traffic control measures would be needed along the segment of W.Va. 9 if the Oakland United Methodist Church proposal develops as planned.

Concerns over the project were aired during a public hearing on the proposal at Monday night's council meeting.

The council did not take action on the project and will probably not vote on it until early December, Smith said.

Despite arguments that the city cannot handle the development, Smith said it is important for the city to consider such projects because of the commercial development they offer, which can build the tax base.

Smith and council member Bill Jordan referred to the large scale commercial development that is occurring along the Charles Town Bypass in Ranson, W.Va., and Jordan said everyone will be shopping there instead of Charles Town.

"We have none and Ranson has it all," Smith said.

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