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Urban growth boundary & friendly reminders

By Staff | Apr 23, 2010

Mayor Jim Auxer

With winter more or less behind us-has all the snow melted yet?-not only are the flowers and trees in blossom, but it seems everything else that goes on in a community is popping up. Here are a few:

Urban Growth Boundary – From what we’ve seen and heard, there seems to be a little confusion surrounding the state-county laws about the proposed Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).

First of all, the UGB is not an annexation. It is a boundary line around each of Jefferson County’s five municipalities. It is an agreed upon line between the county and town.

The other municipalities have approved their UGBs.

The current proposed boundary was suggested a few years ago. It is now up to the town to 1) agree to the boundary, 2) propose an adjustment to the current proposal, or 3) do nothing.

The UGB, rather than an annexation, is a planning tool that allows annexation into a town without having to go through the County Commission.

What the UGB represents is an agreement, by the town, that if there is a request for annexation into Shepherdstown, that the land in question be located inside the town’s growth boundary.

If the town agrees to the proposed UGB, it will be in effect for 20 years.

If the town wants to adjust the boundary before approving it, that adjustment is done in cooperation with the county.

If the town decides to do nothing, Jefferson County government maintains control of all property outside of the current town property line.

County Commissioner Lyn Widmeyer and County Planning Director Jennifer Brockman will be on hand to explain and answer questions about the UGB at a public meeting scheduled for May 6, 2010, at 6:30 p.m. at the Entler Hotel.

Cut grass – All efforts to make the town attractive are appreciated; trimming grass is encouraged, but please try to avoid blowing the grass cuttings into the street. Those cuttings eventually travel to and contribute to clogging storm drains that flow into the Potomac River.

Back Alley Garden Tour – This annual event brings out area residents and out of state visitors, and it’s coming the weekend of May 22-23. We need your help in sprucing up the town and keeping it that way.

Signs on poles -The information on many of the signs-such as those stapled to telephone poles – is helpful, perhaps even valuable, but please remove the signs when the event concludes.

May Day – Beginning at dawn (6 a.m.) on Saturday May 1 at Rumsey Park, this annual event-now in its 16th year-will run at various locales all weekend. Organizers estimate there will be 80 Morris dancers this year, including 28 from England. If you can’t make the sunrise dance at the monument, a Morris dancer parade is scheduled for noon, May 1; the parade begins at the corner of Church and German streets, and winds its way down German to Rumsey Park. For more information check the web site, www.smad.us.

Smokers – The flower beds around town are not ashtrays; when your smoke ends, please dispose of the remains in a safe and responsible manner so that your butt is not an eyesore.

Dog walkers – Pick up the poop. Dog waste disposal containers are located at the corner of N. King and German streets, the corner of Church and German streets, and at Princess Street and Back Alley. Also, if you of know an area that needs a dog waste depository, please contact Town Recorder Lori Robertson, who, by the way, is a dog owner and has done a great job in attempting to curb the animal droppings.