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Zoning brochure to be distributed in Berkeley County

May 02, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Berkeley County Commission approved paying for the producing and distributing of a brochure about the proposed zoning and transferable development rights ordinances that voters are being asked to consider in the primary election.

By a unanimous vote, the commission agreed to pay $3,560 to circulate the brochure, which Commissioner William L. "Bill" Stubblefield said was an "objective document."

"We worked very hard for it to be a nonadvocacy document," Stubblefield said before the commission approved the expense.

Stubblefield said he felt the commission owed voters an "abridged version" of the zoning ordinance, doubting whether many people would read the thick document, which includes a 50-page section on definitions, another 50-plus pages of actual guidelines and several maps.

County officials have paid Harrisburg, Pa.-based consultant Gannett Fleming Inc., more than $100,000 to develop the zoning ordinance, according to finance records.

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County Planning Director Stefanie Morton said Thursday she has "roughly" estimated that she spent another $10,000 on materials produced for educational meetings on both the zoning and Transferable Development Rights (TDR) ordinances.

Exactly how much Gannett Fleming was paid for work on the TDR ordinance was not immediately available Thursday.

Combined with work on the county's comprehensive plan and a re-write of the subdivision ordinance, Gannett Fleming has been paid about $332,000 since June 2005, according to county finance records.

Morton said Thursday that public hearings for the subdivision ordinance could be held as early as later this month or June, depending on the outcome of the vote on zoning.

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