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Zoning a ‘travesty’

By Staff | Nov 18, 2011

Zoning in Jefferson County is a travesty!

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, Peter Corum’s re-zoning request of the old Henry property next to the Morgan Grove Park went before the Zoning Commission in Charles Town. Corum asked to have the property, which borders the historic Morgan Grove Park and a quiet residential area of single family homes in one of the county’s loveliest and most bucolic areas, re-zoned from “residential” to “commercial/industrial.”

Representatives from the community, the president of the Shepherdstown Men’s Club that owns the park and the Zoning Board’s own staff spoke firmly against the request and stated unequivocally that this request was not in keeping with the nature of the property or the community. Likewise, it was noted by speakers at the hearing that there were other sites in the county which are under-utilized and far more appropriate for the commercial/industrial plan Mr. Corum has for the property. There was only one person who spoke for Mr. Corum’s request, and she presented letters from those vendors that have participated in the Saturday market that he has formed since summer to preface this request.

A commercial/industrial site at this particular location will be dangerous and an extraordinary hazard for the children and parents who use the park next to a busy highway. Specifically, the Zoning Commission determined that the commercial/industrial development of the property was compatible with the Jefferson County 2004 Comprehensive Plan. For those of us sitting in the audience, listening to the clearly negative recommendations of the Planning Commission’s own staff and the egregious and specious arguments of Mr. Corum and his lawyer, we were utterly incredulous that the Commission voted at 10:30 p.m. to recommend the commercial/industrial re-zoning.