Commission to review subdivision, land use regulations

MORGANTOWN — If and when subdivision and land use regulations become a reality in Monongalia County, let it not be said the process wasn’t thorough.

The issue has veered in and out of the public eye since 1968, and it will return July 5 when the Monongalia County Commission is expected to approve a request for qualifications (RFQ) for review and final preparation of the latest version to cross its desk.

The document was submitted in 2015, under a previous iteration of the county commission. It wasn’t until November 2017 that a public hearing was held on the draft regulations, with much of the feedback coming out against the document.

Monongalia County Planner Rich Wood said a working group was formed to take another look at the plans following the public feedback, but timing meetings around busy schedules became difficult, prompting the county to look outside for assistance.

“What we have at this point, this is far more than just the bones for a subdivision regulation. It’s not like it’s 30 percent done and we need them to do 70 percent,” Wood said. “This is more like it’s 80 percent done or 90 percent done and we need that last 10 percent.”

Given the long, bumpy road such regulations have had in the county, Wood said it also can’t hurt to get fresh eyes on the issue.

“I think we just reached a general consensus to say, ‘Look, let’s bring in some people who’ve done these before — outside experts,’ ” Wood said. “You get an independent, outside professional who’d familiar with these things to put in the last little bit and come up with a final draft.”

Wood has previously explained the regulations are not zoning and were taken almost directly from state code. He’s also explained “subdivision” is not a housing development, but any splitting of a parcel of land.

“Zoning is where you set up specific areas for specific types of land use,” Wood said. “This says you can build anywhere — other than West Run [Planning District], which does have zoning — but you can build anything, anywhere. But depending on the type of development, you have certain standards that you have to meet in that development.”

The commission is meeting at 10 a.m. July 5 instead of Wednesday, due to the holiday.

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