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Old 08-13-2010, 05:57 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
34,454 posts, read 43,293,594 times
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Just re-read the original post so there are more questions.

You mentioned the area becoming a bedroom community. There are both up and down sides to that.
Up: increased population drives the demand for more and new services.
Down: residential development doesn't pay it's own way for roads, schools and other costs, which are then borne by everyone, new residents and old, and taxes increase.
Up: increased demand increases property values.
Down: increased property values, and the taxes that go along with those higher values, may price long time residents out of the market or even out of their homes.

In the unincorporated areas is where new residential development would likely take place. Is the zoning in place to allow development? Are there agricultural or preservation easements which disallow development? Is there adequate infrastructure (roads, sewer, water) to service new development?

Once again, the answers to the above get you the beginnings of answers. Also more questions.
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Old 08-13-2010, 06:09 PM
 
Location: 304
5,147 posts, read 6,990,930 times
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^^^^

1- By attraction do you mean characteristics?, or do you mean a local asset that Clendenin has that would bring in business, such as tourism or recreation.
Clendenin has a perfect solution, or attraction, but legal issues prevent this from ever happening. The Old Railroad tracks have been gone for years, but it is still level, and ideas of a bike trail that would have gone from Charleston to Sutton, WV would have brought hikers & Bikers through town. The problem is that the Railroad who owns it, "CSX", gave part of it to locals.

2- The town is big enough, and has the density. The town used to be so dense it had its own taxi sevice. The market is there too, due to its location and proximity to not only Charleston, but the surrounding counties that don't have much going for them.

3-Estimated median household income in 2008: $39,350 (it was $32,000 in 2000)

[LEFT]Clendenin: $39,350West Virginia: $37,989[/LEFT]
Read more: http://www.city-data.com/city/Clende...#ixzz0wWwK1VJg

so the town is relatively poor

4--- No, not to my knowledge
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Old 08-13-2010, 06:23 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
34,454 posts, read 43,293,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscross309 View Post
^^^^

1- By attraction do you mean characteristics?, or do you mean a local asset that Clendenin has that would bring in business, such as tourism or recreation.
Clendenin has a perfect solution, or attraction, but legal issues prevent this from ever happening. The Old Railroad tracks have been gone for years, but it is still level, and ideas of a bike trail that would have gone from Charleston to Sutton, WV would have brought hikers & Bikers through town. The problem is that the Railroad who owns it, "CSX", gave part of it to locals.

2- The town is big enough, and has the density. The town used to be so dense it had its own taxi sevice. The market is there too, due to its location and proximity to not only Charleston, but the surrounding counties that don't have much going for them.

3-Estimated median household income in 2008: $39,350 (it was $32,000 in 2000)

[LEFT]Clendenin: $39,350West Virginia: $37,989[/LEFT]
Read more: http://www.city-data.com/city/Clende...#ixzz0wWwK1VJg

so the town is relatively poor

4--- No, not to my knowledge

You have a possible "Rails to Trails" which to be successful has to be more than a couple miles long. What "legal issues" are there? Typically when railroads abandon rights of way they revert to the local government, or a non-profit for a R to T, and not to private citizens or businesses unless they already bisect private property.
Your population density isn't there, 1200 in town and 5000 surrounding isn't what developers look for. For what you're talking about you need a minimum 50K more likely 75K.
In a rural area $30+K might be considered "not poor".
The town needs to have a market study done. But beware, the results can be manipulated to obtain the answers people want to hear.

One thing you need to be aware of in talking downtown revitalization is that it will be 99.999999% retail dominated. That means that a successful business will make money for it's owners but the employees will still be minimum wage plus a little. The town's days as a manufacturing center are over and they won't come back.
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:25 PM
 
Location: 304
5,147 posts, read 6,990,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
You have a possible "Rails to Trails" which to be successful has to be more than a couple miles long. What "legal issues" are there? Typically when railroads abandon rights of way they revert to the local government, or a non-profit for a R to T, and not to private citizens or businesses unless they already bisect private property.
Your population density isn't there, 1200 in town and 5000 surrounding isn't what developers look for. For what you're talking about you need a minimum 50K more likely 75K.
In a rural area $30+K might be considered "not poor".
The town needs to have a market study done. But beware, the results can be manipulated to obtain the answers people want to hear.

One thing you need to be aware of in talking downtown revitalization is that it will be 99.999999% retail dominated. That means that a successful business will make money for it's owners but the employees will still be minimum wage plus a little. The town's days as a manufacturing center are over and they won't come back.

The legal issues involved are involved in who has rights to the property, but if some progress could be made then the trail would bring tons of posibilities. The trail would last about 50-60 miles, connecting Charleston with Sutton Lake. I have a friend that is working on the Rails For Trails Group. I'll have to talk with him.

The majority of the business in town is retail anyway. There is several natural gas companies, and one large pipe line company called S&T. Another big deal is a local auction house that brings in alot of people, but thats about it.

There is several locations that subdivisions could be developed. One is on my local road of Thorofare. There is already some housing developments, but not anything you'd call large. Another would be in thee 2 miles between the town and I-79. The interstate killed the town in my opinion, but it could save it in the same breath
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:37 PM
 
831 posts, read 1,368,575 times
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I also think a smallish hospital would be needed in Clendenin. Again with nothing in Clay and only Roane General I think a hospital would stay busy. It seams like Charleston's not even doing that great now, with Union Carbide and Dupont all but gone, I can't think of many places (other than coal) that a hard working man can get a job that would pay a liveable wage for a family. I can remember my dad saying that when my great uncle came home from WWII they went to Carbide to apply for a job and started the next day. I know a lot of the kids I went to school with were pretty poor until I got to Hoover. The kids from Elkview were always the "rich kids."

I truely love Clendenin, that will always be home. But I did not want my kids to live there, with not future. No jobs. Not much of anything unless you drive to Charleston for everything, school, work, hospitals, shopping other than KMart. I didn't want my girls to be poor, or just barely making it. I don't want them to drive 45 minutes one way to college. Then graduate with one of the few places to get a good job is the hospital.

Anyway Suzy is my dad's first cousin. My parants are Bill and Joy. I had the best neighbors growing up, that is one thing my kids will miss out on by not living there.
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:40 AM
 
Location: 304
5,147 posts, read 6,990,930 times
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^^^

Got your message, and sent you one of my own
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
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You mentioned that there were some older plants that were shut down and/or abandoned... would it be possible to attract another manufacturing company to retrofit the buildings for their operation? Something that would bring jobs and money to the town without necessarily forcing it to become a bedroom community to a larger city?

There are other solutions for a dwindling town than selling itself off to urban sprawl and box stores. If the transportation routes are in place and the zoning is there (or could become there) to support a different form of manufacturing, the towns people might not be as opposed to the revitalizing change. Something along those lines wouldn't change the entire character of the town, just give it a little CPR. New jobs to keep families there and bring in a few more to fill some empty houses and shop at the existing stores and businesses.
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:54 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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When you talk tourism you are usually talking an attraction, not characteristics, although characteristics would usually drive attractions.

A stand alone small hospital that close to an urban center, Charleston, would be doomed to mediocrity. There's not enough population base to support any but the most basic services. The hospital where I grew up in PA closed its maternity ward several years ago, not enough demand. The trend in rural hospitals now is to be taken over or merged into a larger more comprehensive entity. The state also has some say in allocating hospital beds. You might be able to get some health services in but, again, being so close to Charleston would work against that in addition to the underlying population base not being there. To attract new businesses of that type the population comes first and then comes the development.
A Rails to Trails is a good attraction but can't be the only one. And what happens when hiking season ends?
Re-development of the old factory sites might be a possibility but you would run into brown fields issues which become a hole down which the acquiring company will pour endless amounts of money. Not to mention that it's incredibly difficult to re-purpose a manufacturing facility into another type of product.


One other question that has to be asked: are the people there happy with the situation? By that I mean does the Town Council spend meeting time talking development? Do the downtown property owners talk about it? Do the majority, or at least a large number, of residents want it? Are the residents employed? Development changes an area, many times so much so that what attracted people there in the first place is lost.
Again some personal examples: where I grew up was devastated by the recession in the early 80s-mines closed, railroads closed, etc. The town put on a push to return to the Victorian architecture that the downtown had. It was successful but it's a totally retail town now. The 3 factories remaining are always one month from closing (in fact the glass plant 20 miles away closed this summer putting 400+ out of work. When I worked there nearly 40 years ago it employed almost 1500. It closed down 2 months after the main grocery closed putting another 100 or so on the street). The stores are somewhat successful but there is constant churn of tenants and wages are minimum. Unemployment is stuck above 10% and would be higher if my generation hadn't moved away.
Where I am now is the opposite. County population has gone from 25K in 1980 to 85K+ now, acres and acres of sub-divisions and strip malls (the adjoining County is worse). But the reason people moved here, the slower pace and "rural" ambience is being lost. Some because of the development and some because the newer residents were in love with the idea of rural without knowing the reality. One major farmer (family was one of the original founders in the 1650s) sold out and moved to VA to farm a few years ago. He was 82 at the time.
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:17 PM
 
Location: 304
5,147 posts, read 6,990,930 times
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The factories in town are long gone. There isn't much left of that era. Clendenin does has a great asset that has never been realized--- The Morris Creek Wild Life Management area. It could always be thought of as a state park. Not only for natural beauty, but the history of the coal mines and railroad. Another asset is the river. The Elk is the longest river in the state, and in my opinion, one of the best for fishing and boating. About two years ago, and town councilman and I worked on a Park Project. It was by the river and included areas for fishing and a boat ramp. The town recently voted it down due to lake of funding and a strong disapproval from the locals in the neighborhood. For the most part the town government is for new development and creative ideas. Also recently the town anexed land between the town and the interstate. But most of the older citizens are afraid that the council wants to "move the town out there"

The town has the recreational capability, but not the money for it. The river is beautiful, the mountains are always beautiful, and we've got plenty of people within a half an hour that need recreation.

A study was done back in the 70s by the University of Nebraska. The study showed that the "newly formed I-64 between Huntington and Charleston would see huge growth, and the people would be unattracted in the future due to the conjestion. The tought was that people leaving Charleston would build north on both I-77 and I-79. And the study was right so far. The Teays Valley Area is one of the fastest growing areas in the state. But is the study going to prove right about suburban growth heading our way??? If so, the Clendenin could gain strength.

You have to visit Clendenin to know it. A town that used to be so booming that it had 4 Department stores, now brags when a new "junk store" opens.
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Old 08-14-2010, 09:42 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
34,454 posts, read 43,293,594 times
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The project you and the Town Councilman worked on, did you include the neighbors in developing the concept for the project or did you spring it on them? If you did the latter it's no wonder you had pushback. Usually something like that is the subject of small group meetings, public information meetings and other venues over the course of 2 or 3 years. I'm finishing up a property acquisition that will be turned into a demonstration DNR project for a Living Shoreline that I've been working on since 1988. Four Corps of Engineers studies (the project will also address marsh re-vitalization and flood control), three MD DNR studies, four feasibility studies and an incredible amount of community outreach complicated by the fact that people here sell properties like Monopoly cards and we should have all the pieces in place next month. Since 1988, think about that time period. I started on it when I was in my late 30s and I'm now almost 60.
As far as money goes there are literally millions in CDBG funds for those kinds of projects in addition to Corps of Engineers money. And for God's sake you had the King of Pork for your Senator, that project should have been greased from the start. Unless, of course, you didn't start with a basic market study that you would have then used to justify the project.

You may be approaching some of these things backasswards. Plus, you absolutely have to have the buy-in of the residents and the major property owners downtown or all your planning and wishing will be so much air.
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