Berkeley County briefs

October 05, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

Power outage closes Hedgesville High

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - An electrical short on Wednesday evening in an underground cable on Hedgesville High School's campus caused a brown out that resulted in the cancellation of classes there on Thursday, giving students a four-day weekend.

Power was fully restored at the school at 1 p.m. on Thursday after repairs to the cable and a damaged transformer were made, according to Berkeley County Schools Director of Communications Jaimee Borger.

The partial outage about 8 p.m. on Wednesday, was discovered by Don Dellinger, the high school's principal, Borger said.

Fears of possible power surges and subsequent damage to equipment were averted and Borger said the school's frozen food was not affected by the outage.

The school district's electricians were assisted by Allegheny Power personnel who inspected the damage and assisted with restoring the utility's service.


Like the county's other schools, Hedgesville High will be open today for faculty and staff for an instructional development day as originally scheduled. All students are scheduled to report to school on Tuesday.

On Monday, students at their respective school have the option to take part in instructional support services, such as computer and library media center access, parent-teacher conferences and remediation, according to school officials.

Project recommended for rezoning in city

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A team of developers who want to build a more than 50-acre residential/commerical community in Martinsburg's northern end had their rezoning requests for the project forwarded to the City Council after receiving conditional recommendations from the city's planning commission.

The commission's recommendations Wednesday night for allowing a 25.5-acre parcel of the Meridian Pointe development to be rezoned as a planned residential district included capping the number of housing units at 500. Other maximums recommended for council's consideration after significant discussion were a 65-foot building height restriction and 15-foot setbacks along the front, rear and side yards.

Developer Matt Powell of Potomac Professional Services LLC told commissioners the residential portion of the project included condominiums and apartments with elevators and some of the buildings were envisioned to be four stories.

In the 31.7-acre parcel proposed as an adjoining planned business district, commissioners agreed on zero-foot setbacks and a building height restriction to accommodate a hotel and retail/office building projects.

Though still on the drawing board, the commercial-residential development proposes more than 400,000 square feet of office and retail space to built along a road to connect the yet-to-be built Raleigh Street Extension with Lutz Avenue.

Aside from the rezoning recommendations, the commission separately approved a site plan for the first building for the business district in Meridian Pointe. Plans for the 71,427-square-foot office building were approved on the condition of City Council's vote on the rezoning request.

Signage changes recommended

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Changes to Martinsburg's zoning regulations for signage, off-street parking and new definitions for transitional housing, emergency shelters and group homes were forwarded to City Council for approval by the municipality's planning commission this week.

No residents attended the commission's public hearings held for the revisions, which include changes to rules for displaying banners, sidewalk signs and political campaign placards.

The off-street parking change proposes requiring two spaces per single-family detached, semi-detached or two-family detached residential unit when no on-street parking is available along the lot frontage.

New definitions for transitional housing, recovery home, group home and emergency shelter, among other modifications, were triggered by an increase in citizen complaints concerning residential overcrowding, primarily in rental properties, according to City Planner Tracy Smith's Sept. 18, 2007 memo to the commission.

A "tourist home" also was modified to be recognized as a bed and breakfast and the city ordinance's definition of a "family" also was modified.

As for signage, political campaign signs must be removed within five days after an election. Sidewalk signs could not be larger than 8-square feet. Under the proposal, the signage also would have to be registered with the planning department and may also need Historic Preservation Review Commission approval.

The Commission also recommended changes to banner requirements that separate a temporary banner from one intended to be displayed for longer than 15 days.

More information about the proposed changes can be obtained in the city's planning department at Martinsburg City Hall at 232 N. Queen St. Copies of the ordinance amendments are available by contacting the department at 264-2131, ext. 266.

The Herald-Mail Articles