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Revised subdivision regulations approved in Morgan Co.

November 22, 2008|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Three revised subdivision regulations were approved with additional changes Friday by the Morgan County Commission.

Under family transfer exemption changes, new wording was added to the section regarding family transfers and division among heirs.

The new wording allows the formation of parcels transferred as gifts to those designated family members. It can be done with or without obtaining a well or septic permit, but it must be stipulated on the deed.

County attorney Richard Gay said if a future owner wanted to build on the parcel, the requirement by the state is that it has to be approved by the health department and must be big enough for a well and septic.

"We can't stop anybody from selling their land," Gay said. "They will have to come back and get a well and septic."

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Commissioner Brenda J. Hutchinson and Commission President Glen R. Stotler voted to accept the revised regulation, while Commissioner Thomas R. Swaim voted against it.

"My only reason for voting against it was that the parcels should be 20 acres or more," Swaim said. That would eliminate any future problems with well setback limits and septic area requirements.

Stotler asked that a letter be sent to the county planning commission to address the larger tracts of land issue that Swaim mentioned and the number of exemptions allowed per family member.

The commission unanimously approved the new preliminary plat language. Developers have three years from preliminary plat approval to complete all work and submit the final plat. If they miss the deadline, the process must begin again.

The developer can request an extension of up to one year, but it will not be considered until 30 months after initial approval of the preliminary plat.

The new wording on proffers unanimously was approved and reference to West Virginia Code, Chapter 7-20-3, on capital improvements was added to the subdivision regulation.

"You must have a capital improvements list in place before accepting a proffer," Gay said.

Gay emphasized that a proffer has to be voluntary.

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