Public Hearing on Proposed Development Which Threatens Harpers Ferry's Historic Landscape

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   June 1, 2007
Contact:   Joy Oakes, NPCA, 202.454.3386


Public Hearing on Proposed Development Which Threatens Harpers Ferry's Historic Landscape

National Parks Conservation Association Encourages Public to Testify

What: The Jefferson County Planning Commission will hear public testimony concerning the proposed rezoning of the Old Standard quarry, approximately 411 acres on Millville Road off Highway 340.

Rezoning this property to allow intensive commercial development would severely alter the historic landscape at the gateway to West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, and increase traffic congestion for local residents and visitors to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and other area attractions.   

Who: National Parks Conservation Association, area residents, local and national park and preservation advocates, local elected officials, and local business people will testify.   

When: Tuesday, June 5, 2007, at 7 p.m.
   
Where: Charles Town Library meeting room
200 East Washington Street, Charles Town, West Virginia

Why: The Old Standard quarry owners have petitioned the county to change the zoning from High Density Residential Use (80 acres of the parcel) and Rural District (the remaining 330 acres) zoning for industrial/commercial use to allow 2 million square feet of commercial, office, and flex space--the equivalent of more than a dozen Wal-Mart stores.

Area residents, local and national park and preservation advocates, elected officials, and business leaders have raised concerns about the proposed rezoning, given its location adjacent to the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, and given existing traffic congestion on Highway 340.

While evidence of the land’s past industrial uses remains, and need to be remediated, preservationists point out that the overall landscape would be recognizable by the soldiers who fought here during the Civil War.

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