Public comments wanted on land use

July 01, 2009|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Morgan County residents are being asked to share their ideas about the county's land use.

At Tuesday night's land-use subcommittee meeting, Jack Soronen, subcommittee chairman, said letters will be sent out to individuals and organizations to request their input.

Those who participated in structuring the county's Comprehensive Plan also will be contacted, Soronen said.

"We need to get as much information from as many groups as we can," said subcommittee member Wayne Omps.

To spark discussions and solicit opinions, Soronen said, two public meetings are scheduled for August.

o On Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. a public meeting is planned for Warm Springs Middle School's auditorium in Berkeley Springs.

o On Tuesday, Aug 11, at 7 p.m. a public meeting is planned for the Paw Paw (W.Va.) senior center.

County planner Alma Gorse said on Wednesday she is waiting for confirmation of the dates by the school and the senior center.


Omps suggested time limits be set for those sharing their opinions at the meetings. He said public meetings are usually OK, but only the few will speak out "very loud" and 90 percent of Morgan County will not be there.

"It's two extreme sides," Omps said.

Subcommittee member Brad Close suggested people write to the planning commission with their land-use suggestions if they cannot attend a meeting or if they wish to submit them directly to the subcommittee.

Suggestions can be mailed to Gorse at the Planning Commission, 77 Fairfax St., Room 105, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411. Her e-mail address is She can be reached by phone at 304-258-8540.

Soronen said he is looking for as much public input as possible. He said the plan is to canvass the community for discussion "as broadly as possible."

The land-use subcommittee will give an update at the July 28 planning commission meeting, he said.

Morgan County Commission President Brenda J. Hutchinson recently requested the planning commission form a task force to study land-use issues to utilize the commission's expertise.

Planning commission members Jack Soronen, Sue Parker, Amy Lane, Brad Close, Scott Swaim and Wayne Omps are serving on the subcommittee.

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