Cumberland Times-News

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July 18, 2014

Hampshire reviewing building violations

ROMNEY, W.Va. — The Hampshire County Commission and code and compliance officer Charlie Baker are looking for a more effective means by which to pursue flood plain and building violations.

The discussion came up at the county commission meeting Tuesday and again at the Hampshire County Planning Commission meeting later in the week.

“We are looking to see if there is a more efficient way to pursue violations,” Baker said.

Currently both ordinances carry a $50 to $500 a day fine with each day constituting a new violation, and thus another fine.

For instance, if a home was built without a permit there would be a fine.

“Until a permit was obtained, the homeowner would continue to pay the daily fine,” Baker said.

Because the permit also covers the flood plain ordinance the fine would be double, one from the flood plain ordinance and one from the building ordinance.

“The reason for this is for a review of the structure when the permit is obtained. Is it or is it not in a flood hazard area,” Baker said.

The amount of the fine, $50 to $500, depends on whether the construction is an 8-by-10-foot shed, an 8,000-square-foot dwelling or a commercial property.

Baker said the county office does not require flood insurance.

However, he said, banks have a flood plain determination that may require flood insurance on construction loans.

“We have a property in Hampshire County that has been flooded three times and it is not in a flood plain,” said Baker.

Building in Hampshire County has increased between fiscal year 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 by 54 percent.

“Last year we had 569 permits. This year we are up to 873,” Baker said.

Baker said the type of building being done in the county is across the board from residential dwelling to out buildings and additions.

Baker said campgrounds and the multitude of events and activities throughout the county generated a lot of conversation at the planning commission meeting.

Five members of the community spoke out at the meeting.

Concerns were for off-road ATV parks, music concerts and, Baker said, “We’ve had some shooting activities.

“Some people view these events and activities a nuisance,” Baker said.

Baker said they are not sure how to handle the different activities.

“We aren’t against these events. Some are generating noise conditions well into the night creating hardship for neighbors,” Baker said.

“We may look at possibly doing something to alleviate citizens’ concerns. We don’t want to stop anything. We want to make conditions to where everybody is basically happy with some type of compromise.”

Contact Marla Pisciotta at marlapisciotta@frontier.com.

 

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