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Envisioning Jefferson County

August 2, 2013
Kelly Cambrel - Chronicle Staff , Shepherdstown Chronicle

The Jefferson County Planning and Zoning office held a workshop Tuesday evening to gather input from the community about "Envision Jefferson 2035," the comprehensive plan for Jefferson County.

During the nearly three-hour workshop held at the Community Club (War Memorial Building,) nearly 60 people broke up into in 9 groups to discuss what Planning and Zoning Office Director Jennifer Brockman called, preferred growth areas" in Jefferson County.

"Tonight's meeting were talking about where we want growth to occur," she said.

"Where do we think it's appropriate for high intensity uses and why is that appropriate?" she asked the group.

As part of what has been a series of workshops, community members were introduced to the first draft of "Envision Jefferson 2035's" goals and objectives.

The first goal outlined by Planning and Zoning staff is to "Require Urban Intensity Residential and Non-Residential Development to occur within existing urbanized areas, approved urban growth boundaries, villages, and/or the county's identified preferred growth areas."

County Planner Seth Rivard lead the group through the draft outline.

He described the land use and growth management element of the comprehensive plan as one of its most important aspects, given the countys evolving needs.

"Our purpose is to sort of start anew," he said.

Groups focusing on the future use of agricultural and rural areas, and two focused on development along Route 340, were among the most popular with workshop attendees, whole spent over an hour discussing their concerns.

Remarks like "No growth along the Potomac River," "Keep rural, rural," and "Revitalize downtown business," were among the suggestions made by citizens.

Jefferson County's comprehensive plan is required to be updated every10 years by law.

Another major goal for the newest revised plan is to include a Land Use Map, to be discussed further at future meetings.

"One of the unusual aspects of Jefferson County's planning and zoning is that the land use plan has never included a land use map," Brockman said

"One of our goals of this plan is to have a land use component that has a map. The 2004 plan recommended that," she continued.

Another meeting will be held in October and Planning and Zoning Staff plan to be on call at the Jefferson County Fair to answer any questions from community members.

Paper surveys will also be available to thos who visit the Planning and Zoning booth.

An online survey is forthcoming on the county's Planning and Zoning web site.

To find more information about the comprehensive plan as well as upcoming workshops and events visit www.jeffersoncountywv.org/government/departments/planning-and-zoning-department.html or visit www.EnvisionJefferson2035.com.

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