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News: National Park Discussed for Battle of Shepherdstown Site

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  • Brian Downey
    Jefferson County (WV) Commission holds public hearing [11/09/2005] Site for proposed park in W.Va. a golden opportunity Developers challenging decision in
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 10, 2005
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      Jefferson County (WV) Commission holds public hearing
      [11/09/2005]
      Site for proposed park in W.Va. a 'golden opportunity'
      Developers challenging decision in court

      by Dave McMillion, (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail

      CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A "historic jewel," a "golden opportunity" and
      "one of the best kinds of economic development" were some of the terms
      used to describe the site where the Battle of Shepherdstown was fought
      and the proposal to save it.

      Speakers at a public hearing Wednesday night to gauge support for
      establishment of a national park to protect a Civil War battlefield
      near Shepherdstown, W.Va., gave overwhelming support for the idea and
      said it is a way to boost tourism and teach the world about West
      Virginia history ...

      complete article online at:
      http://www.herald-mail.com/?module=displaystory&story_id=124154&format=html
    • david lutton
      Brian, Thank you for the update on the Shepherdstown battlefield site. I ve always had an interest in this encounter across the river. I see by the article
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 11, 2005
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        Brian,

        Thank you for the update on the Shepherdstown battlefield site. I've always had an interest in this encounter across the river.

        I see by the article that the developer is planning an appeal . What is the local gauge as to its success?

        By the way, thank god that one of these "anti-growth groups" are active in your neck of the woods else we would "visit" Antietam by passing a interpretive sign on US 70.

        Would you please keep me posted as to developments either by private mail or postings to this site?

        Thanks again

        David Lutton
        Hollidaysburg PA
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Brian Downey
        To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2005 8:33 PM
        Subject: [TalkAntietam] News: National Park Discussed for Battle of Shepherdstown Site


        Jefferson County (WV) Commission holds public hearing
        [11/09/2005]
        Site for proposed park in W.Va. a 'golden opportunity'
        Developers challenging decision in court

        by Dave McMillion, (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail

        CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A "historic jewel," a "golden opportunity" and
        "one of the best kinds of economic development" were some of the terms
        used to describe the site where the Battle of Shepherdstown was fought
        and the proposal to save it.

        Speakers at a public hearing Wednesday night to gauge support for
        establishment of a national park to protect a Civil War battlefield
        near Shepherdstown, W.Va., gave overwhelming support for the idea and
        said it is a way to boost tourism and teach the world about West
        Virginia history ...

        complete article online at:
        http://www.herald-mail.com/?module=displaystory&story_id=124154&format=html










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      • jeffcowvplanning
        David Lutton asked: I see by the article that the developer is planning an appeal . What is the local gauge as to its success? Response: I used to be the
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 11, 2005
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          David Lutton asked:

          I see by the article that the developer is planning an appeal . What
          is the local gauge as to its success?

          Response:

          I used to be the chief planner for Jefferson County. From my
          understanding of the information surrounding this decision (as I have
          followed it in the press), I would estimate that the applicant has a
          greater than average (but not air tight) chance of getting the
          decision overturned. Given a variety of variables, it will likely be
          upheld at the Circuit Court level but overturned at the state supreme
          court.

          Keep in mind that Jefferson County is the only county in WV with
          county-wide zoning, and even then, it is a limited "loosey-goosey"
          system, which I advocated abandoning in favor of standard zoning when
          I worked there. They are getting close to rewriting their subdivision
          and zoning ordinances soon...so it will be interesting to see how it
          goes and what results.

          The property had to pass through what is called the "LESA" system,
          which assesses property outside of the "Growth" area for
          appropriateness for development. It assesses distance to developed
          areas, schools, emergency services, quality of soil (to remain as
          farmland) and surrounding land uses. The property passed this test
          so, if the zoning ordinance is faithfully administered, the developer
          should have gone into the process with a general presumption that the
          development is appropriate.

          Nowhere in the zoning ordinance does it say that they can take whether
          it is a Civil War battlefield into account. If it was, then this
          argument could be used against any development, as most of Jefferson
          County, in one way or another, is a Civil War battlefield.

          Apparently, they also provided a traffic study that said the roads
          system will not be overburdened by traffic that went unrefuted in the
          record, yet the BZA concluded that the traffic would be unacceptable.
          This (apparently) is not based on information in the record.

          Keep in mind that there are two stories here....the macro
          story...regional and national interest in preserving the
          battlefield...and the micro story....no-growth locals (most of whom
          are relatively recent transplants) who are happy to co-opt this issue
          as a convenient reason to oppose another "evil" housing development.

          As someone who is both a planner, and an APCWS member, I find that the
          real problem here is that there has been no advanced planning on what
          the community believes is worthy of preservation. This allows every
          place where there was a skirmish to become a potential "reason of the
          week" by the no-growth locals to fight every housing development that
          comes along.

          The County needs to identify what areas are worthy of preservation,
          adjust the zoning in those areas so they do not become housing
          developments, and administer that policy/ordinance. Once in place,
          then this argument should not be accepted on lesser sites.

          In this respect, Washington County did a good job by studying the
          Antietam viewshed and placing protections for that area on their
          zoning map. Jefferson County needs to do the same.

          I was always strongly in favor of changing the rules and making them
          tougher, but you cannot make up land use (or any other) law by fiat,
          which some of the elected and appointed officials there want to be
          able to do.

          Planning processes are about setting up rules to regulate development,
          and adminstering those rules...it is not about placing a property
          owner's rights into the hands of an appointed board to decide, for
          reasons not enumerated in the ordinance, if you can develop your
          property. This robs a property owner of their property rights without
          the due process of amending ordinances, then administering those
          ordinances fairly

          There IS an opportunity here for preservationists to influence their
          ordinance rewrites so this kind of fight doesn't happen again in
          Jefferson County.

          Steve B.
        • jeffcowvplanning
          Oops...I said I was an APCWS member...I meant CWPT. SRB
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 14, 2005
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            Oops...I said I was an APCWS member...I meant CWPT.

            SRB
          • richard@rcroker.com
            Okay SRB -- That does it! Your abbreviation privileges are revoked for one full month! ... From: jeffcowvplanning To:
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 14, 2005
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              Okay SRB -- That does it! Your abbreviation privileges are revoked for one
              full month!


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "jeffcowvplanning" <jeffcowvplanning@...>
              To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 7:47 PM
              Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: News: National Park Discussed for Battle of
              Shepherdstown Site


              > Oops...I said I was an APCWS member...I meant CWPT.
              >
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