Town, county working on addressing compliance
In 2007-2008, Jefferson County embarked on a mission to clarify and reassign, if necessary, addresses for a 911 emergency system. Since that time, the emergency services in the county have coordinated efforts and now all work from a single CAD system so that every emergency agency has access to the same information.
As part of getting to the point of the unified system, the addressing project was the first phase. After spending years determining the correct addresses for all structures in the county, both residential and commercial, the county’s GIS/Addressing department has now spent significant amounts of time verifying that those who needed to make changes to their addresses have done so.
According to Wendy Schutz, addressing compliance coordinator for Jefferson County, the addressing office has completed the job of physically inspecting all addresses within the county. They have also completed that process in Bolivar and in Shepherdstown. They have Ranson, Charles Town and Harpers Ferry yet to tackle.
This month, those property owners in Shepherdstown who had not either changed their address or had not posted their address in view for emergency personnel, were issued a letter informing them they must come in to compliance. They were given a deadline of Feb. 4.
A final check, Schutz said, will be done soon to ensure that all have come into compliance.
Schutz indicated that the letter issued told property owners what their correct address is and explained that they are responsible for posting that address so that emergency responders can find each physical location.
“Residential house numbers need to be at least three inches in height,” Schutz said. “They should also be on contracting background so that they are visible.”
For commercial structures, the height of the address must be at least six inches.
Schutz shared that within the town of Shepherdstown, there were approximately 30 percent of the structures not in compliance with the 2008 change to addresses. She also said that response to the January compliance issue has been positive.
“People are sending me photos of their homes with their addresses showing to let me know they are now in compliance,” Schutz said. Such photos are welcome so that structures can be removed from the GIS/Addressing master list of noncompliance. They can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.