Water issues are rising to the top of the collective heap here in Shepherdstown and chief among them is the concern over the proposed Conditional Use Permit sought by Peter Corum for his Twin Oaks property.
While we at The Chronicle believe that individuals should have rights to develop their property as they choose, especially when that property does not fall within town limits, obviously there are still guidelines which must be followed. Those guidelines for this property fall within the realm of the county; however, the county has made it clear they are taking into account the concerns of the neighbors.
What has got The Chronicle stumped this week is Corum's reference in the front page story that those who are asking questions are "looking to stop progress." We believe that statement is far from the truth. Simply because one asks questions does not mean it is an attempt to stop anything. Concerns over what may or may not be emptied into Town Run from ventures sought for the property are not only valid concerns but ones everyone in town should be asking. The county, too, should be asking about what could potentially be put into the Run as well.
Mr. Corum should realize that just because one has valid concerns, that does not mean one is attempting to control another person's use of their land. Providing sufficient answers to the questions can clear up the matter and we would suggest that Mr. Corum do so in a public meeting where all can hear the answers. We appreciate his willingness to answer specific questions for any individual who may call him, but believe those answers should, again, be given in a public meeting with the opportunity for all to hear and ask follow up questions. Many of the proposed uses for the project would indeed be a benefit to local individuals and visitors to the area so the idea is not to "stop progress," but simply to have all the facts. It should not be a game of placing blame or calling out each other, but rather, information presented logically and factually so the project can move forward in a positive manner. We encourage both Mr. Corum and those who question the project to continue to work together in a civil and productive way.