Lawyer says State law does ot allow for city's boundary plan

May 05, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION


A lawyer for the Jefferson County Commission told commission members Thursday she has researched state law and has found nothing which allows a city to establish an urban growth boundary like the controversial one proposed by the City of Charles Town.

Brandon Sims said she has not found any language in state laws which allows such a boundary or allows a city to plan for growth inside such a boundary.

Commission members agreed to ask Charles Town City Council members to meet with them to talk about planning issues in the wake of the controversy over Charles Town's new proposed growth boundary.


Commission members said they will invite council members to meet with them May 11 at 7 p.m. in the ground level meeting room of the Charles Town Library.

Charles Town Mayor Peggy Smith could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

The growth boundary is a line around the city that Charles Town officials use to consider possible annexations to the city.

The city has proposed increasing its growth boundary by 6,382 acres to a total of 14,822 acres.

The proposal is meeting stiff opposition from dozens of county residents and each of the county commission members has raised concerns about the plan.

Last week, commission members said they wanted their lawyers to examine what legal grounds a city has to set land use policy in a county.

On Monday, at least 75 people showed up at a Charles Town City Council meeting where dozens of speakers criticized the growth boundary.

Much of the criticism has centered around the plan's proposal to extend a residential growth area to Earle Road, where there are farms and Washington family homes.

The next day, Charles Town Planning Commission members proposed removing the residential growth area from around the Earle Road area as well as a proposal to construct a western highway bypass in the Earle Road area.

City officials said this week they will work to make the proposed changes on a map showing the boundary and hopefully have the map ready for a public hearing on the plan Tuesday at City Hall at 7 p.m.

Public hearing

What: Charles Town officials hope to unveil changes to a proposed growth boundary plan.

When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Where: City Hall, corner of 101 E. Washington St., Charles Town

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