By: Jennifer Britt
The Parsons Advocate
The Tucker County Subdivision and Land Ordinance (SALDO) was theoretically going to the Tucker
County Commission for review this week. Planning Commission President Tim McLean placed a motion
to approve the document as presented so the draft copy of the document could be placed on the public
website for viewing. Bill Shahan moved the motion and said, “People need to take the time to read this.
Base their own opinions on what they are reading.”
Although the Planning Commission members voted to have the document publicly presented it will not
happen until a correction is made. Information was provided by audience guest Jeremy Hile and the
document will need to have one code verified before presented to the Commissioners of Tucker County
and posted for the public. The code in question is the West Virginia State Codes §8-24-18 through §8-24-
- These quoted codes in the proposed SALDO are for use by the Commissioners to amend the SALDO
after it has been adopted.
These codes have in fact been repealed since 2004 according to the West Virginia State Legislature web
page found at www.wvlegislature.gov online. The statute after getting repealed becomes ineffective.
Statute repealed is abolished by the repealing statute as if it had never been made by the legislature.
Except for a saving clause, each part of the statute is considered unconstitutional.
However, during the slide presentation that was put together by members of the Planning Commission
and viewed during the meeting the code of §8A-4-5 was correctly shown. This code states, “After the
enactment of the subdivision and land development ordinance by the governing body, all amendments
to the subdivision and land development ordinance shall be made by the governing body after holding a
public hearing with public notice.”
Hile said about the incorrect amendment state code, “You look up all of those (West Virginia State
Codes §8-24-18 through §8-24-22) and as far as I can find it says replaced repealed acts in 2004 regular
session chapter 153. That does not tell us anything about what that process is (to amend the SALDO), so
could you explain that a little further.”
Planning Commission Secretary Robin McClintock explained by saying, “The process is, there is a public
meeting, the county commissioners hold that meeting. They can bring it up on the agenda at a regular
meeting. There is a notice that is placed in the paper there is a public meeting and then the county
commission can vote to amend it. It only requires a public meeting with a class one advertisement.”
When a member of the guests asked if the commission was the one requesting to be the ones to make
amendments to the document, Rosenau said, “I wanted to make sure the Commission was the one to
make amendments to this. I wanted to make sure the Commission is the one to amend it and not
another governing body.”
Mike Rosenau explained to the attendees of the meeting the difference between putting an ordinance
and zoning on the ballot for public vote. Rosenau said, “If it were zoning it could be put on the ballot,
but an ordinance cannot by state code be put on a ballot. I just want to make that clear to everybody.
My choice would be to have everything voted on by the public.”
Hile responded to another member of the audience who asked why the county needed more laws on
top of the laws they already had in place. Hile said, “The city of Davis has stopped, pretty much at this
point, free commerce. Due to the price of property in this town. This will just raise the price of property
in this county.
Number one, whoever does a subdivision all of this is going to be handed down. The average person can
not just go out and do a major subdivision after this (SALDO) is passed. You will have to go through
professional people to get all your documentation put in place. That is going to drive the price of
property in the rest of Tucker County through the roof. Just by those subdivisions being there.
You (citizens of Davis) already say you got a problem with it up here and you do not like the price of
properties. See what this does to the price of property throughout this county. Nobody in this county
that does not already own property will be able to afford it after this goes through.”
Mayor of Davis Alan Tomson explained to the audience that there is a difference between a public
meeting and an open meeting when the Planning Commission was interrupted on several occasions by
outburst from members of the audience. Tomson explained: “West Virginia open meetings acts says all
government meetings are open to the public. All public meetings are open to the public. That does not
make it a public meeting. This is a board meeting not a public meeting. There is a substantial difference.
You are allowed to be here and listen and watch; not talk, not interrupt and not be rude. It is their
meeting. This is not a public meeting.”
The Planning Commission has said in the past that the plan forthcoming the submittal to the
Commissioner was to host several public hearings throughout the county to allow the public the
opportunity to express their views and concerns. These meetings will allow the public to also ask any
questions they may have pertained to the SALDO. The dates of such meetings will be decided by the
Planning Commission and posted later.
The next meeting of the Tucker County Planning Commission will be held on July 11, at 1 p.m., and
will be in Parsons at the Old Courthouse. This meeting is open to the public.
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