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Re: [TalkAntietam] News: National Park Discussed for Battle of Shepherdstown Site

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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