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Planning Commission to consider Morgan’s Grove Market waiver requests

By Staff | Jan 4, 2013

I wanted to make sure that community members who share our concern about implementation of the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) granted to the Twin Oaks Subdivision (Morgan’s Grove Market) were aware that there will be an important meeting of The Jefferson County Planning Commission (PC) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 8. The developers are requesting several waivers, which if granted would undercut the “due process” that I believe is essential to allay the concerns of many nearby property owners and the community-at-large about this commercial real estate project. Specifically, they are requesting that a traffic impact study requirement and one for a sidewalk along the front of the property be waived and that grading of the site be allowed to begin prior to a public hearing and approval of the site plan.

At a PC meeting last month the petitioners argued that these expedited procedures and waivers were necessary to allow them to meet promised operational dates given to their renters. These are exactly the kind of maneuvers that have us wary about the intentions of the developers and their preparedness to fully comply with the CUP requirements.

Those who participated last year in the community impact hearings and the discussions leading up to granting of the CUP will recall that there was almost no discussion of traffic impact because it would be dealt with thoroughly later by an authoritative Traffic Impact Study which presumably would be conducted by the State of West Virginia. Similarly major concerns about plans for development of utilities, including water and sewer must await approval of the site plan which requires a public hearing and full disclosure. To date none of that has happened.

If you have concerns, as I do about these Twin Oaks commercial real estate development plans, it is important that you attend the meeting next Tuesday evening in the basement of the Charles Town library. If you are unable to attend, share your views with the PC members by phone or email. All too often silence is taken as consent.

Mike Austin,

Shepherdstown Community Club (SCC)