Concept plan for outdoor resort approved by Jefferson Co.
MILLVILLE – An outdoor resort and campground may be coming to the Millville area, as the Jefferson County Planning Commissioners approved the landowner’s concept plan, with conditions.
Applicant and landowner Old Standard Land, LLC, proposed approximately 160 cabin and tent campsites, 169 RV campsites, boathouse, bath houses and areas for outdoor recreational activities, on a 404-acre parcel in the vicinity of the lake near Old Standard Quarry, along Millville Road. The concept plan also includes a 7,500 square-foot lodge, general store and other amenities for campers.
Kristin Stolipher, with Gordon Associates, Inc., a civil engineering and landscape architecture firm, addressed the planning commission on behalf of Old Standard Land, LLC. Stolipher said the concept plan includes proposed connections to public water and sewer.
“The area between the quarry lake and the river will be maintained and naturally preserved, which was a concern of the (Jefferson County) Historic Landmarks Commission,” she said. “When Old Standard Land bought the property, they had to re-zone it. We wanted a use that fit with nearby areas and construction that has a low-impact on the natural landscape.”
After Stolipher’s presentation, comments from the public were heard.
The first speaker, Paul Rosa, a member of the Harpers Ferry Conservancy, said he sees the plan as a good fit for the site and surrounding areas.
“This plan has a lot of potential, and it presents a mosaic of compatible uses. A previous applicant wanted to make it into office space, and I think this (resort) is a better use of the property,” Rosa said.
However, Rosa said he was concerned about the proposed resort’s impact on the natural viewshed, especially from Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and nearby historic battlefields.
Andrew Lee, resource management specialist with Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, shared some of Rosa’s concerns about the view, as well as potential light pollution. Lee said the RV campsite near the northern end of the property may be visible from the park.
A letter from George McHugh, acting superintendent of the United States Department of the Interior, wrote a letter on behalf of the department, addressed to the Jefferson County Planning Commission, provides more details regarding the concerns Lee mentioned.
McHugh writes the Old Standard tract, as it was known, “while outside of the park, is located in the heart of the 1862 Harpers Ferry Battlefieldthe Old Standard property figured prominently in what many historians consider Major General ‘Stonewall’ Jackon’s greatest victory.”
In his letter, McHugh states the National Park Service is in the process of doing a preliminary visual analysis to assess where the proposed lodge, maintenance buildings and RV area may be visible from.
Newly-appointed planning commission president Donnie Fisher said planning staff recommended approving the concept plan, with some conditions, including: West Virginia Division of Highways permitting, addressing fire and EMS concerns, and utility connection.
Fisher asked Stolipher about the proposed building heights. She said the bath houses and maintenance building may be about 10-feet tall, and the two-story lodge would be approximately 25-feet tall.
The planning commissioners approved the applicant’s concept plan unanimously.
A site plan outlining the engineering details, will be drafted and brought before the planning commission as the next step in the process.