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Growth Management Boundary approved by Commission

By Staff | Jun 9, 2014

The Jefferson County Commission recently approved Shepherdstown’s proposed Growth Management Boundary, about one month following a presentation made by Mayor Jim Auxer and Zoning Officer Andy Beall.

The Growth Management Boundary has been under discussion by members of Shepherdstown’s Planning Commission for several months as work to draft a revised Comprehensive Plan has brought it up for consideration.

Until now, only Ranson and Charles Town had defined “urban growth boundaries,” as recognized by Jefferson County.

Discussion began in January with disagreement over its scope and designation as an “urban” growth area.

Planning Commissioner, Karene Motivans was vocal in her disapproval of the original “urban,” growth boundary, noting that it encompassed, “the entire northern half of the county.”

In its final iteration the boundary is carved out along the length of the Corporation of Shepherdstown’s existing water/sewer service line.

Though the corporation doesn’t presently service all areas within this boundary, the line stretches from the historic district out along the Potomac River toward Terrapin Neck, moving along Rocky Marsh Run at the Berkeley County line and down to Trough Road.

Planning Commission member David Rosen defended the proposed plan, stating he believed the boundary put the corporation in the best position to protect its interests in the event of future development in the greater Shepherdstown area.

“We’re saying this is the area where we want to influence our growth,” he said.

“It gives us a seat at the table.”

Discussion about what constitutes “urban,” growth resulted in the re-branding of the proposal as the “growth management boundary.”

The County Commission officially approved to boundary by a vote on May 15, following a Public Hearing held two weeks prior, on May 1.

The new boundary has already been included on the county’s official zoning map.

Visit www.jeffersoncountywv.org and click “Maps,” on the Planning and Zoning page to view a digital version of the updated map.