SBPA RECENT NEWS & EVENTS
FEBRUARY 27, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Court Rules County PC Violated WV Law
On February 26, 2015, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals (WVSCA) ruled that the
Jefferson County Planning Commission (PC), in two instances, violated the West Virginia Open
Governmental proceedings Act (OGPA) when the PC granted extensions to the developer of Far
Away Farm (FAF). The WVSCA rulings reverse prior rulings by the Circuit Court. The WVSCA
rulings were the result of a petition filed by Gary Capriotti, Edward Dunleavy, Edward Moore
and the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association Inc.
In July 2011, the PC approved a secret agreement with the developer of FAF granting
extensions of the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and the Community Impact Statement (CIS)
to build 152 houses on the farm. The agenda for that meeting did not identify the PC/FAF
agreement as a subject of consideration. The agenda item under which the agreement was
discussed was titled: “Reports from Legal Counsel and legal advice.” The WVSCA ruled that:
“Because the agenda notice did not adequately inform the public of the specific items to be
considered at the Planning Commission’s July 26, 2011, meeting, we find that the Planning
Commission violated W. Va. Code 6-9A-3 and reverse the circuit court’s contrary ruling.”
Also, the WVSCA cited W. Va. Code 6-9A-4(b)(11) that “if the public agency has approved or
considered a settlement in closed session, and the terms of the settlement allow disclosure,
the terms of that settlement shall be reported by the public agency and entered into its
minutes within a reasonable time after the settlement is concluded.” While the Court stated
that the PC “referenced the settlement at its meeting of October 11, 2011, and indicated that
it would attach the final settlement to the minutes of that meeting, it has yet do so.”
“Accordingly, we find that the Planning Commission has violated the reporting requirements set
forth in W.Va. Code 6-9A-4(b)(11).”
The WVSCA remanded the case back to the Circuit Court to provide a remedy for the violations.
For Immediate Release – November 16, 2014
Shepherdstown, West Virginia
Click Here to Send an email to SBPA
PRESERVATION of BATTLEFIELD LAND CELEBRATED
On Sunday afternoon, November 16, a sign was erected and dedicated to commemorate the purchase and preservation of two properties
totaling 2.2 acres on the site of the 1862 Battle of Shepherdstown. The properties are contiguous to the historic Cement Mill
property which was saved and preserved in 2011.
In late 2011, the Civil War Trust (CWT) purchased 18 acres of the Cement Mill property and in late 2013, another
small parcel, contiguous to the Cement Mill property, was purchased. Early this year the CWT purchased another property
contiguous to the Cement Mill property. All the properties were deeded to the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks
Commission (HLC). Ultimately, the HLC intends to donate the parcels to the National Park Service (NPS).
A conservation easement has been placed on the properties and they have been included in the National Register of Historic Places.
The total cost of all the land purchases was $536,000. The funds to complete the recent purchases came from the Land and Water
Conservation Fund administered by the NPS, Save Historic Antietam Foundation Inc., and the Shepherdstown Battlefield
Preservation Association Inc. Importantly, all the properties purchased by the CWT are contiguous to 59 acres already saved
through the use of conservation easements. In total, 104 acres of the core of site of the Battle of Shepherdstown have been
saved and preserved.
This effort has been the result of the work of the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association Inc (SBPA) and its
individual members. SBPA is a non-profit corporation, organized in 2004 dedicated to saving and preserving the core of the
site of the Battle of Shepherdstown. Almost $1.2 million has been raised through grants and membership contributions during
the last ten years. If you would like to help save more of the battlefield and learn more about SBPA, please go