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Computer malfunction disrupts meeting on Berkeley County development rules

June 13, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The process to revise Berkeley County's development guidelines was disrupted by a computer malfunction at the offices of a consultant retained to finalize a draft of the ordinance, Planning Commissioners were told Monday.

Commission legal counsel Norwood Bentley III said some portions of the document were inadvertently left out because of a "computer crash" at the offices of Gannett Fleming Inc. in Pennsylvania.

"It came back with a lot things missing - a lot of things that had been already voted on," Bentley said.

Bentley advised individuals interested in the subdivision ordinance not to "waste their time" reviewing a May 2008 draft of the subdivision ordinance that has been posted on the Berkeley County Commission's Web site.

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Bentley said he hoped to be able to hold a public hearing on July 29 to consider a draft of county's subdivision ordinance, but County officials said the guidelines needed to be reviewed to make sure all of the changes previously discussed were actually incorporated in the document.

County officials had delayed consideration of the subdivision ordinance until after the primary election vote on zoning and transferable development rights ordinances. Both land-use proposals were soundly defeated by a 2-1 margin. The zoning question only passed in three (precincts 38, 48 and 114) of 53 allowed to vote on the questions, according to official results released by the Berkeley County Voters Registration Office. Voters in the City of Martinsburg and Town of Hedgesville were not allowed to voted on the zoning ordinance. Both communities have zoning ordinances in place.

The vote on zoning resulted in a tie in precinct 115. The transfer development rights ordinance was turned down by a majority of voters in every precinct, according to the official results.

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