MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A developer proposing what might be Berkeley County's largest subdivision to date - approximately 1,600 homes on 361 acres - won preliminary plat approval Monday night for the first phase of 135 homes.
The Berkeley County Planning Commission voted to approve the plat for The Villages at Rolling Hills presented by John Petry, managing member and owner of American Homes by United Builders LLC.
Commissioner Richard Talbott was the lone dissenter, but his concerns about the impact of another residential development on Berkeley County were reiterated by practically every neighbor of the project's first 43-acre phase off U.S. 11 and Martha Drive near the Pikeside community.
"I hate to be part of the disaster, frankly," Talbott said at one point during a public hearing, which featured impassioned pleas from property owners concerned about the project's impact on the school system, traffic congestion and their own property. Commissioner Gary Poling was absent and commissioner H. Daniel Gantt left the meeting before the vote was taken after more than an hour of discussion.