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Discussion of annexation:




Shepherdstown Comprehensive Plan

How Will 68 New Townhouses Affect Shepherdstown?

Legal Proposal:

HURNEY ANNEXATION OUTLINE [prepared 11/04, by Hurneys' attorney Frank Hill, not yet approved by Shepherdstown. Bracketed comments from webmaster]

1. Parties: Hurney and Town of Shepherdstown [so no one else can sue. If the neighbors were made parties too, they could enforce it]

2. Property: Five (5) parcels, nineteen (19) acres, more or less, River Road/German Street

3. Units: Not to exceed sixty eight (68) [county would allow 15-40 at most]

4. Zoning: Compliance with R-1 classification

5. Variances: Subdivision has been designed to comply with Shepherdstown Zoning Ordinance (R-1 classification) without need for variance (subject to change upon comprehensive engineering of project)

6. Building Code: As adopted by West Virginia State Fire Marshal [citation?]

7. Storm water management: In compliance with county requirements [citation? There are no county requirements once it is annexed! County requirements ignore big rains & lengthy waterflow anyway]

8. Sidewalks: If Town obtains necessary rights-of-way, sidewalk (four feet wide without curb) to be built by Hurney from railroad tracks at Reformed Church to eastern terminus of property (across from Day Care Center entrance)

9. Dedication: Upon request of the Town, Hurney will dedicate all public/common space upon completion of the project, including streets [so they avoid maintenance, which homeowners would have to do in the county]

10. Homeowner's Association: Hurney will retain the right to subject the property to appropriate covenants and conditions, and to create a Homeowner's Association for enforcement [does town want this mini-local government in its midst?]

11. Impact fees: Compliance with County Impact Fee Ordinance [citation? There are 2 ordinances now, not one, and probably more in future. Charles Town & Ranson lawyers argue that "compliance" requires no fees in towns, so this promises $0]

12. Proffers: In addition to No. 8, Dedication, Hurney will pay to the Town $____ per lot upon issuance of a Building Permit to reimburse the Town for engineering supervision, etc. [does "etc." cover extensive legal battles over enforcement?]

13. Infrastructure: Curb/gutters and sidewalks on at least one (1) side of all roads will be installed to County standards [citation?]

14. Utilities: appropriate street lighting will be installed and all utilities will be placed underground, to be paid by Hurney. (on-going street lighting costs will be paid by HOA under lot assessments) [too bright to see the stars?]

15. Streets: All streets will be constructed in accordance with Jefferson County road requirements as set forth in the Jefferson County Subdivision Ordinance [citation? do they expect people to read a 100-page ordinance to find what they mean? Existing county residents know street standards are not strong enough to avoid crumbling when construction equipment, heavy trash trucks, & school buses stop & start repeatedly on the edge of the pavement.]

16. Subdivision: A comprehensive subdivision plat will be submitted to the Shepherdstown Planning Commission for review and approval [They will have no legal basis to disapprove, since they have no subdivision ordinance]

17. Water/sewer: Service to be provided by the Corporation of Shepherdstown with payment of required tap fees [=$500 per house. Why shouldn't they also pay $2,562 per house capacity fee, like everyone else?]

18. Entrance: Entrance Permit from E. German Street will be obtained from the State Highway Administration

19. Binding effect: The Annexation Agreement as approved by the parties, comprehending the provisions set forth in this outline, will be binding upon the entire tract, irrespective of owners

[Note: no design standards; Hurneys are free to do anything. Citations to other rules are designed to make people feel comfortable, but make it impossible to see what is really intended.]