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Jefferson Co. considers changes to new land-use regulations

January 17, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County Commission members on Tuesday started reviewing new land-use regulations that have been called restrictive, confusing and contradictory by some.

Many of the areas examined Tuesday dealt with restrictions on businesses.

For example, the new regulations would only allow rough areas of golf courses to be irrigated with storm water, said Jefferson County Commissioner Dale Manuel.

The regulation was drafted because of concerns about the amount of water golf courses use, said Commissioner Greg Corliss.

Discussion Tuesday weighed loosening the proposed regulation because golf courses draw tourists and need to be competitive with other courses in the region, Manuel said.

County Planning Director Tony Redman agreed to review the regulation, Corliss said.

Another new regulation would require that at least four feet of a sidewalk be unobstructed during a sidewalk sale, Manuel said. There was agreement to review the regulation, since some businesses sell flowers and vegetables on sidewalks, Manuel said.

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Another proposed regulation said asphalt and concrete "batch plants" in the county would only be allowed for projects within the county, Manuel said.

The commissioners also agreed it was important for farmers to be able to offer hunting attractions on their land to generate extra income, Manuel and Corliss said.

It was not clear in the new regulations if the operations would be allowed, Manuel said.

County officials began considering new land-use laws after experts said the county's current laws have not been effective in managing urban and suburban growth or protecting agricultural areas.

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