New lot may hold Dollar General
The Morgan County Planning Commission approved the creation of a lot that may become home to a Dollar General store at the corner of U.S. 522 and Myers Road across from Widmyer School.
Planners okayed Mike Crawford's request to break off the 2.4-acre parcel from the larger Berkmore Investments property, where Reed's Pharmacy, Curves and several medical offices are located.
Planning Commission president Jack Soronen questioned Crawford extensively about the highway entrance to a new Dollar General store, and whether the new parcel would block future access to remaining lots up above the store.
The time to consider commercial access to this property as a whole is now. We need
to plan ways to get high
volumes of traffic safely onto 522 without overburdening intersections at Myers Road and Sugar Hollow Road, Soronen said.
Soronen said he didn't want the developer coming in ten years down the road, saying they had no access to back lots, and asking to direct commercial traffic onto one of the smaller side roads.
Board member Brad Close asked how many more lots could be built up around Berkmore Place. Crawford said ten more lots could be developed there.
The planning board unanimously approved the minor subdivision of land to create the new lot.
New cell tower
Gary Barber of Vista PCS brought an application for the construction of a 185-ft. cell tower along River Road. It would be the second tower his Annapolis company has built in Morgan County.
Because of the tower's proximity to the Hancock Airport, it would have a light on top, as required by the Federal Aviation Administration. The tower would be built two and a half miles east of the airport on land owned by the family of Mac Mills.
Barber said the FAA told Vista PCS that any tower over 50 feet tall in that location would have to be lighted. The tower's light would be red at night and a white strobe light during the day. Barber said the tower would have upward-facing lights. A reflector on the bottom of the light is designed to shoot the beam of light up, so only airplanes can see it.
Planners approved the commercial building application for the tower and a waiver of the county's stormwater management rules, since tower construction would increase runoff on the property by less than 10%.
County Planner Alma Gorse told the board that 911 Director Dave Michael is seeking a permit to build a 100-ft. tower on top of Cacapon Mountain on a one-acre parcel in the Kessel Subdivision. The tower would be in a fenced compound, and would hold a repeater to improve emergency communications toward Paw Paw.
The tower wouldn't be lighted, and there is currently no electricity on the site, Gorse said.
Proposed wind generator
In related business, Gorse asked the planning board if they wanted to be involved in the permit process for a proposed wind generator in Apple Orchard Acres subdivision on Tabor Road.
Mountain View Builders is seeking a building permit for the 100-ft. windmill that will generate electricity for a private home and be connected to Allegheny Power's electrical service. If the tower creates more electricity than the home uses, the power company will buy the extra power from the homeowner.
Board member Carl Cowgill asked if the subdivision's homeowner's association knew the windmill was being planned. Gorse said she didn't know, and hadn't found any covenants for the property prohibiting such a structure.
Jack Soronen said construction of the wind generator was similar to a homeowner erecting a television or radio tower on their land. He thanked Gorse for letting the board know about the application, but said they had no reason or authority to evaluate the building application.
Legal review meeting
Attorney Richard Gay will speak to the Planning Commission and County Commission about his legal review of proposed changes to the county's subdivision ordinance during a special workshop this Thursday, June 5 at 6 p.m. in the county's meeting room.
Gay was hired by the county to analyze the proposal, which includes new cluster development rules and restrictions on subdivisions in the floodplain.
Following Gay's review, the changes may return to the Planning Commission or be forwarded to the County Commission. Before any new rules could be enacted, the County Commission must seek public comments at a public hearing.