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Hunter Hill development might go before planning commission again

January 07, 2013|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — Hunter Hill, a historic home on the corner of East Washington and East Liberty streets, might eventually be developed, but the issue will again be taken up by the Charles Town Planning Commission following a Monday night vote by the city council.

Attorney Peter L. Chakmakian represents William Trusell, owner of the 4.4-acre parcel. Trussell, who was not present at the meeting, wants to rezone the property from residential to mixed-use commercial/residential.

Trussell’s request to rezone the property was denied twice last year by the planning commission because plans for the tract were not detailed. The council has agreed with previous planning commission recommendations.

Chakmakian asked the council to send the proposal back to the planners because his client’s newest proposal includes a second entrance off East Washington Street and not moving the historic Hunter Hill home 110 feet closer to East Liberty Street. Trussell said in proposals before both governmental bodies last year that he needed the extra land to build a hotel and commercial strip along East Washington Street.

Chakmakian said West Virginia Division of Highways officials might consider a second Washington Street entrance.

The other existing entrance is off East Liberty Street, an active residential neighborhood.

The large white four-square home was built after the Civil War on the foundation of an earlier home owned by Andrew Hunter, the chief prosecutor in the trial of abolitionist John Brown.

Hunter’s cousin, Union Gen. David Hunter, ordered his men to burn down the first Hunter Hill in July 1864, a move stemming from what was believed to have been a family feud.

The house is not on the National Register of Historic Places.

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