By: Jennifer Britt
The Parsons Advocate
Tucker County Planning Commission member Ben Herrick explained to other board members that a map outlining the area of Canaan Valley was completed when the original zoning ordinance was put into place. The map can be accessed online in the comprehensive plan posted on the Planning Commission link of the Tucker County Commission website.
The board had hopes of placing the new modernized zoning ordinance on the ballot in the spring for vote, but Commissioner Mike Rosenau informed the members of the board that next spring ballot was not until May of 2024. The board was under the impression that it was for the spring of 2023. After confirming this with Tucker County Clerk Sherry Simmons the board realized that they have time to prepare. Rosenau said, “Really that is a realistic time because by the time we combine the two (zoning ordinance and comprehensive plan) I can not imagine getting it done before then, because by the time we go through the public information part of it that is a good many months too.”
Herrick then switched gears to the comprehensive plan that expires in 2024 and takes an estimated six months to get approved. The comprehensive plan will need to be updated, presented to the public for public comment, and then approved by the Tucker County Commission. Planning Commission President, Tim McCloud, said, “Now that we have got a little bit of time, it is probably going to be easier to get the comprehensive plan, because it is so well written, revised and updated.”
Planning commission board member, Robin McClintock, explained what a comprehensive plan was by saying, “A comprehensive plan is just a report of the resources and the facts of the community. It does not prescribe rules.” McCloud agreed and said, “It is a statement of what we are.”
Rosenau was asked by McCloud for an update on the recent visit with the Western Pocahontas Group. Rosenau informed the board that the group was working on a housing development by Mettiki Mine and that they have environmental design award winning people working on the project. Rosenau also stated that the group had no plans for the area located from the high school to Thomas and that he came away from the meeting feeling positive.
The commission discussed other issues like the lack of housing available and whether a sit-down meeting with a state representative would be productive in finding a solution. McCloud said, “Our elected officials at the state level love to stand up and talk about tourism. It reminds me of the coal industry, and it is said that for every job in the coal represents six or seven jobs down the street and for every $30 spent on coal is $8 in your pocket. Tourism has a very similar ratio whether it is the job or the dollar it is an investment that pays a huge dividend down the stream.”
The next Planning Commission meeting will be held on November 14, 2022, at 1 p.m. located at the Davis Town Hall in Davis, West Virginia.