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Ranson to add 275 acres to city

November 22, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

RANSON, W.Va. - Ranson City Council members approved three annexations Tuesday night that would add more than 275 acres to the growing city.

The annexations include a 193-acre parcel off Leetown Road, a 77-acre parcel which can be accessed by a road near the Charles Town Wal-Mart and a nine-acre section off Universal Forest Products Road.

The 193-acre tract is known as the Cartagena-Martinez-McNutt-Mullins-Herbert property and is in the northern portion of an urban growth boundary that the city has established, city officials said.

No development plans have been drawn up for the land, which is not unusual, said City Manager Dave Mills.

Sometimes, property owners do not have any immediate plans for development but like to have the freedom to do so at a later date, Mills said.

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Or property owners might want city services now, like protection from the Ranson Police Department, said City Council member Howard Shade.

The 77-acre parcel is known as the Capriotti-Walker-Northgate property and commercial development is planned for the site, although Mills said he did not know exactly what is proposed for the site.

Mills said he thinks the owners wanted to annex into the city because they believe the city's land-use regulations are more suitable for commercial growth.

The nine-acre parcel is known as the Charles Town Group Inc. property and is the site of several existing businesses, including Gower's Feed Inc., said Mills.

City council members unanimously approved second and final readings of the 193-acre and 77-acre annexations and approved the first reading of the nine-acre parcel.

Land annexations, particularly those undertaken by the city of Ranson recently, has caused concern among county officials.

Not including the ones approved Tuesday night, Ranson has annexed about 3,800 acres since 2002, a growth spurt which has expanded Ranson's boundaries to the east, west and north of its former configuration.

County officials complain the annexations have created confusing boundaries in the county and interfere with their land planning efforts.

Ranson officials have strongly defended the annexations, saying they are key to creating a strong economy.

Mills has said the areas that the city has annexed likely will be high-growth areas in coming years and the city saw the annexations as a chance to take in areas that will generate strong revenues.

The city was concerned about possibly being surrounded by growth in coming years and being forced to spend money on more city services to handle growing numbers of people passing through town, Mills said.

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