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Deadline nears for comment on Jefferson zoning plans

December 20, 2007|By Dave McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. ? The Jefferson County Commission on Thursday again discussed pushing the public comment period back on a proposed set of new county land-use regulations that have drawn criticism.

Area residents currently have until Jan. 1 to submit written comment, but Commissioner Dale Manuel said Thursday that now is not a good time to get input on the proposed laws because residents are busy with the holiday season.

Manuel proposed pushing the written comment deadline back to Jan. 19, but he did not get support from the other commissioners.

Commissioner Rusty Morgan tried to set the written comment period back one week, but that failed, too.

Officials have said the county's current land-use regulations have not been effective in managing urban and suburban growth or protecting agricultural areas.

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But the new laws have come under attack for being complicated and contradictory in how they mandate minute details such as what kind of fence can be around swimming pools.

The commission held six public meetings across the county on the proposed laws and nearly 800 people attended, county officials said. County Planning Director Tony Redman has acknowledged that work needs to be done on the plan.

Commissioner Greg Corliss previously said he thought the commission was on the right track for accepting public comment, and said all of the input will be reviewed as county officials look at changes to the plan.

Commission President Frances Morgan said Thursday that she expects a second draft of the new regulations to be forthcoming and changes will be reflected in that document.

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