|From SHAF Tour 2010|
As noted in my earlier post, I received a rapid response to an email I sent to CWPT about the risk to Bolivar Heights at Harpers Ferry. Here's the situation as described by Jim Campi of CWPT:
"CWPT is part of a coalition of groups that is fighting to save of the Old Standard Tract. The coalition has won a few fights to prevent development of this key property over the past 5-6 years. But, as you know, we have to win EVERY attempt to develop this historic parcel – the developers only have to win once."
Jim also forwarded a notice about several local meetings to raise awareness and determine courses of action to combat the backhanded and arbitrary methods used by the developer and the State of West Virginia that usurped zoning juridiction from the local government:
STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA PREEMPTS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
Developers of the Old Standard Quarry twice tried to upgrade the density of use, and thus the value, of the nearly 400-acre Old Standard Quarry on the edge of Harpers Ferry. Annexation to the City of Charles Town some five miles distant was tried without success. They also sought rezoning from Jefferson County without success. Then it recently was discovered that they had quietly pushed through state legislation that exempted “brownfield districts” from state planning and zoning laws, and had regulations implemented making themselves governments unto themselves free to develop the land any way they wished free of local control. The scheme was only exposed when it was discovered that a final plat subdividing the property for over 2,000,000 square feet of commercial space had been recorded in June 2010.
ACT NOW! YOUR PARTICIPATION AND ATTENDANCE IS ESSENTIAL!
The Jefferson County Commission is working hard to unravel these schemes through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and other means, and has scheduled two important meetings with the state delegation to figure out how these circumstances came about and how to reverse course and restore local planning control. Here’s the schedule:
August 16 (Monday) 3:00-5:00 p.m. Overview of Old Standard Application for “Brownfield District” designation.
August 19 (Thursday) 3:00 p.m. for discussion with state delegation about how this legislative scheme evolved
Both meetings are at the Charles Town Library at the corner of Washington and Samuel Streets in Charles Town, West Virginia
A STRONG SHOWING OF CITIZEN SUPPORT IS ESSENTIAL TO BACK UP OUR LOCAL OFFICIALS. BRING YOURSELF, BRING YOUR FRIENDS!
BE THERE AND BE PART OF A SHOW OF SOLIDARITY!
What can you do? 1. Attend the meetings, if possible. 2. Support CWPT. They understand the situation and context and have been involved with local organizations in the struggle against this development threat for the past several years.
What's in this for you besides preserving hallowed ground? I will send Guild Press's The Civil War CD-ROM to the first person to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org a donation receipt from CWPT dated on or after August 5, 2010 in the amount of $50.00 or more. The CD contains the Army Official Records and a few aditional supporting works. Who can't use a digitized copy of the OR's?