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Commission has restored faith in zoning

By Staff | Dec 16, 2011

Last month this paper called upon the Jefferson County Commission to restore some faith in our democratic process after the Planning Commission rejected its staff’s recommendation on a rezoning request and the County Commission retained the issue on its Nov. 17 agenda despite calls for a public hearing. I’m happy to say that the County Commission has gone a long way towards restoring that faith. On Dec. 8 it held a public hearing to consider the application for rezoning the property south of Morgan’s Grove Park from Rural District to Industrial-Commercial District. At least a dozen concerned citizens spoke at the hearing, and many more sent letters, emails and phone calls to our Commissioners. The Commissioners heard the public concern and voted unanimously to deny the rezoning request while allowing the proposed farmer’s market project to proceed under a Conditional Use Permit.

As a homeowner near Morgan’s Grove Park, I want to thank each of the Commissioners for their attention to this issue, their efforts to hear all sides, and their respect for the Jefferson County Comprehensive Plan. I’d also like to thank the Shepherdstown Planning Commission for responding quickly to the proposed rezoning and Mike Austin of the Shepherdstown Community Club (formerly Men’s Club) and Meredith Wait of the Shepherdstown Business Association for their leadership in engaging their members. And last but not least, a thank you to all the neighbors surrounding the park who spoke up to share their concerns.