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Old 03-29-2008, 10:05 PM
578 posts, read 2,065,259 times
Reputation: 149


When I think of WV...I think of nice mountains and a rich heritage.
Having lived in NOVA....I used to enjoy the drive to Jefferson County to be in the county.

I'm very concerned that Jefferson, Beckley....and even way out counties like Morgan and Hampshire are undergoing intensive suburban sprawl with no end or regulation toward preservation.

I would be sad to see this region...one with expansive hills, mountains...become Eastern Loudon county with cookie cutters and fast food joints.
I would be even more sad if you had light pollution blocking out the natural glimmer at night.

I wanted to know

1) Is the development in the Eastern Panhandle out of control? Is this developement light and complimentary to the area or is it totally overshawdoing the once rural area into another Fairfax/NOVA yuppie fastfood eyesoar with total disregard to the prestine views?

2) How expansive is the developement? Is this just in points east of Charles Town...or does it extend to Martinsburg?
Is Morgan and Hampshire at risk...is it steady or checkboard making it hard to know which is suburban and rural?

3) Where exactly do these people commute to?
Dulles corridor mostly or many to DC...I can't envision drivng daily to DC...who are these people?
Those who want to live on a country club no matter where?

4) How is the longtimers in the panhandle dealing with this...is it clogging up schools?
Speaking of schools...how are the newcomers dealing with WVs schools...how do they compare to NOVAs system?

5) Overall is WV still loyal to PITT based teams or in the E Panhandle is it split or more BAL/WAS?

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Old 03-30-2008, 09:15 AM
Location: Western Pennsylvania
2,429 posts, read 7,131,726 times
Reputation: 830
Concerning (5):

EP is Washington oriented in sports, since the TV stations received there are WashDC area stations. 'Skins, Caps, does anyone root for the Nationals?

Northern and Central PA is still Steeler Country.

Southern WV (I-64 and south) used to be Cincy Reds country. The C&O mainline more or less shares the same route as US-60, and the C&O would run excursion trains from Marlinton, White Sulphur Springs, Beckley, etc., to Cincinnati. That was a long time ago; southern WV might follow Charlotte or Atlanta these days.
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:29 AM
25,371 posts, read 47,524,423 times
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Expect the I-81 corridor, from the PA line on down thru MD and WV and VA to become NOVA type sprawl. Land, taxes and cost of living closer to DC is too costly for most folks competing in a global economy. Growth and any new "industry" (hah! distribution warehouses for foreign junk) will be in that corridor where things are more affordable and people more willing to work for less.

People nearing retirement age are moving up over the state line into PA as PA doesn't tax pensions. One particular town on the I-81 corridor is Greencastle; very pretty, lots of open space, only a few miles to the shopping and sprawl in Hagerstown, MD.

Way down in VA, try the I-64 corridor, WEST of I-81, over to the old railroad town of Clifton Forge; quaint, old, rustic, charming.
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:02 AM
Location: Arlington, VA
1,996 posts, read 4,462,334 times
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Jefferson and Berkeley Counties have both undergone rapid suburbinization in the past decade, a trend that is expected to continue well into the future.

Berkeley County is by far the fastest growing county in the state mainly because it has no zoning laws and a convenient location along the I-81 corridor. From what I have seen going out to visit friends who live in the Eastern Panhandle most of the growth in Berkeley County is centered around Martinsburg, the Inwood area, and the Falling Water section of northern Berkeley.

Jefferson is seeing a lot of growth around the main commuter roads into MD and VA like Route 340 and Route 9, in particular around the Charles Town, Ranson, and Kearneysville areas.

Many people in the area commute to the job rich Dulles Tech Corridor along with the I-270 corridor in suburban Maryland. You also see a large number of people working right in downtown DC because of the MARC commuter rail trains, one can leave the station in Martinsburg (last stop on the rail line) and be at Union Station in DC in under two hours. Rail stations in Jefferson County include Duffields (outside Shepherdstown) and Harpers Ferry, the ride for them is just over an hour and a half. There is also a growing number of people working in Baltimore, which is about the same distance from the Panhandle as DC.

While many people lament about the loss of open space in the Eastern Panhandle the blame rests largely with the counties closer in to Washington. Loudoun County, especially the western portion, is one of the most anti development counties in the nation, supervisors infringe on the rights of property owners and force zoning laws that allow only one home per every 5-20 acres of land. Fairfax County VA has over one million residents and is essentially built out, especially around the Beltway. Montgomery County MD, although also approaching one million residents has 90,000 acres of the county reserved for one home every 25 acres.

The DC area's economy is booming and local economic development officials are always bringing in new jobs, they forget you need one thing HOUSING FOR THE WORKERS. High demand and low supply results in ridiculous home prices that force people to look towards the Eastern Panhandle and portions of Central VA for affordable housing options. Sorry for the rant but as a Northern Virginia resident I always find it amusing when people move to these outer suburban counties (which they know are growing fast) and then want to slam the door on anyone else moving in because they think it is losing it's "rural atmosphere," sorry people anywhere within two hours of Washington lost that years ago.
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:12 AM
Location: West Virginia
13,842 posts, read 38,474,038 times
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They dont call Berkeley & Jefferson Co the bedrooms of DC for nothing! Think that says it all!!
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Old 03-30-2008, 01:57 PM
578 posts, read 2,065,259 times
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I still can't fathom people moving to the EP and commuting.
It is a long 2 hour drive...or longer.
Who are these people?

Are they your yuppie professionals or are they mostly blue collar folks, teachers, service workers in Loudon county who can't afford?

Also...how are the schools?
I can't imagine snobby yuppies in WV schools.

Do you think the EP will be the next Loudon County or will it be able to maintain it's rural hertiage?
Boy it would depressing to see WV and the mountains become Ashburn.
Is it that dire...or will the area retain it's ruralness?

How about Capon Bridge...please don't tell me that area...way rural....is going to be developed?
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:30 PM
25 posts, read 76,502 times
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Blue Country -
I'm one of those folks that "will" be doing the commute. The 'yuppie' as you refer to them, are the one's most likely who can afford to stay closer into the DC/metro area. However, blue collar folks like myself work in the DC/Metro, but cannot afford to live there. I will be working in Reston (actually checking in this week), I looked in the surrounding areas for housing, their crazy down, half a million bucks for a modest single family home. Where as in the the EPH, the cost of living and housing is signficantly less. So, I will suck up the commute and gas prices and toll's on the greenway (can u tell I've done my home work) to move my family to nice home in from what have read on the interent is a nice area. We will most likely be relocating to the Charles Town/Ranson Area, Into one of those brand spanking new developments. It is the natural evolution of things, gotta go where the jobs are. Right now, the DC/Metro tech area is booming.
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Old 03-30-2008, 04:00 PM
Location: Arlington, VA
1,996 posts, read 4,462,334 times
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Who cares if the Eastern Panhandle does become the Ashburn? Is the local economy any better with a bunch of abandoned farms sitting around for weekend tourists to come gawk at? People are always so nostalgic about yesteryear but they need to remember that it isn't 1950 anymore, our lifestyles have changed and these beautiful farms earn the owners little to no income, who are we to blame them when a developer comes down and offers them money to build on their property. One cannot expect natural progression to halt, particularly in a community right next to a thriving major metropolitan area.
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Old 03-30-2008, 04:37 PM
Location: West Virginia
13,842 posts, read 38,474,038 times
Reputation: 10146
Thing is the Farmers are NOT benifitting....developers are! 1st they buy the farms then they put up the homes on top of that they get paid not to develope certain amount of the land...but do they actually farm NO. They as basicly getting Gov funds not to build. To heck with the land...some do build homes with IF you dont investagae close the land part is under a 99 yr lease. There have been write ups in the Journal over the past 5 yrs about this.
There are a lot that DO care!!

Last edited by Katie1; 03-30-2008 at 05:02 PM..
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Old 03-30-2008, 06:56 PM
Location: Arlington, VA
1,996 posts, read 4,462,334 times
Reputation: 1641
OK I'm sure that does occasionally happen but business is business and sometiumes bad things happen. People always take one or two special cases where someone got screwed over and assume that applies to all real estate transactions, not true. Farmers in the Panhandle and other outposts of DC suburbia are being paid quite well for their land, if they were somehow getting a raw deal I would hope it would be noticable.

My point is people in the far out exurban DC jurisdictions are always talking about certain areas becoming "the next Ashburn" like it means armageddon is arriving on their doorstep. Despite the traffic woes, Ashburn is a very nice booming area that has a lot to offer residents, especially on the job front, which is more than the Eastern Panhandle can say.
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