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Morgan Co. passes new subdivision regulations

July 22, 2006|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - A two-acre minimum for lots requiring a well and septic system are part of the new subdivision regulations adopted Friday by the Morgan County Commission, which drew the ire of the leader of a group protesting high-density subdivision growth in the county.

"I am flabbergasted that after receiving dozens of oral and written statements regarding the two-acre limit that it was completely ignored by the county commission," said George Farnham, the leader of Outhouses of Unger. "As far as the county commissioners are concerned, we do not exist."

Commission President Glen Stotler and Commissioner Tommy Swaim voted to adopt the changes regarding new subdivision regulations and storm water management regulations, while Commissioner Bob Ford opposed the adoption.

"We can adopt technical changes today, and if more substantial changes need to be made, we can send it back to the planning commission," Stotler said.

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Stotler said any subdivision regulation that is adopted "can be changed at any time by the Morgan County Commission if it is not doing what it is supposed to do."

As part of the new subdivision regulations, a minimum one-acre lot is required in subdivisions that have public water and sewer lines.

A 50-foot setback requirement from property lines was approved for wells, but the commissioners asked the planning commission for further review regarding a 50-foot septic system setback.

Ford said he did not like setbacks and other regulation issues.

"I don't think that (setbacks) would do a lot of good and is a means to drive up the price of real estate," Ford said. He said a 50-foot setback for septic systems will "affect the county."

More than 100 people attended a July 7 public hearing to voice their concerns about subdivision regulations, with many attending the hearing saying a three-acre minimum should be required for lots requiring a well and septic system.

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