Mon County subdivision regulation process back on hold

·2 min read

Dec. 2—MORGANTOWN — The rollout of county subdivision regulations is back on pause—for now.

Based on feedback from the development community, Monongalia County Director of Planning Andrew Gast-Bray requested and received the blessing of the county commission to push back the process "at least one month " in order to allow additional dialogue.

The schedule Gast-Bray brought to the commission in November would have officially posted the document for public review Wednesday, with public hearings to follow Jan. 11-12.

"In the past, the county commission has made it clear that this is not a race to get an ordinance adopted, and as such, we have respected requests where possible, " he said, later adding "However, I strongly suggest this extension be limited."

Gast-Bray said that the document has been available for public review in its various iterations for more than two years, and that a number of public suggestions and requests have been integrated into the language.

He said he's hopeful interested parties will use the additional time to offer suggested improvements, "and not simply attack without reading the document."

"I feel I should stress I'm a bit surprised some in the development community are so opposed to this ordinance. It is not zoning. It does not limit what can be built where, only that whatever a developer chooses to build, it has the appropriate infrastructure to serve it, " he said, explaining that poorly supported development ends up being a burden on taxpayers.

The zoning point is one that has been raised repeatedly, as some in the development community have expressed concerns that the regulations are overly burdensome.

As has been previously reported, subdivision regulations have been an on-again-off-again effort of the county dating back to the 1960s.

The commission didn't specify how long this extension would last.

"We've never been under a specific timeline. My only issue is, we don't put it in a drawer ... we don't push it aside, we don't allow it to be delayed just to be delayed, " Commission President Sean Sikora said. "We want to have a full and complete public airing of what the planning commission has been working on, with the improvements. We'll have that discussion and there shouldn't be any fear of having that discussion."

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