WINCHESTER — The Frederick County Planning Commission on Wednesday voiced support for Frederick Water providing water and sewer service to approximately 350 acres of commercial property in southwest Clarke County.

The area, known as Double Tollgate, surrounds the intersection of Lord Fairfax Highway (U.S. 340), Fairfax Pike (Va. 277) and Stonewall Jackson Highway (U.S. 522 and 340). Clarke County wants Frederick Water to provide up to 150,000 gallons per day of water/sewer capacity. Frederick Water already serves a former state corrections facility near Double Tollgate.

On Wednesday night, the commission voted 10-1 to recommend expanding the county’s Sewer and Water Service Area (SWSA) to accommodate future commercial and industrial land uses. SWSA is a growth boundary designating where public water and sewer can be extended.

The expansion area would include land in Frederick County located north and south of Tasker Road, east of White Oak Road and west of U.S. 522. It also would include a provision for water and sewer services for the 350 acres in Clarke County, satisfying Clarke’s request for up to 150,000 gallons per day.

Chairman Kevin Kenney and commission members Charles Triplett, Roger Thomas, Gary Oates, Paige Manuel, John Jewell, Elizabeth Kozel, Betsy Brumback, William Cline and Kay Dawson voted in favor of expanding the SWSA. Alan Morrison was the dissenting vote.

“I have some concerns on this,” Morrison said. “I see short-term it being a great thing. My concerns come in the long-term. Once we expand beyond the borders of Frederick County, then any adjacent property owner would have an avenue to apply. If we reject it, they would have an ability to take it to court if we refuse it.”

Thomas expressed concern about overextending Frederick Water’s system by allowing it to branch out into Clarke County.

Oates, a member of the Frederick Water Board of Directors, reassured Thomas that the 150,000 daily gallons being requested by Clarke is “a drop in the bucket” compared to Frederick Water’s system. If someone outside of the proposed area applies for water and sewer service, he said Frederick Water is not required to serve them.

To alleviate concerns of Frederick Water being overextended, Oates reminded the commission that Frederick Water will double the amount of water it can produce by the spring. Construction is currently underway on the Henry F. Sliwinski Water Treatment Plant on Hot Run Drive in the Stephenson area. Once completed, the facility will replace the existing James T. Anderson plant, which treats about 1.8 million gallons of water per day. The new plant will provide up to 8 million gallons of treated water per day, which will be drawn from two quarries owned by Carmeuse Lime and Stone on adjacent land. As the need for water grows, Frederick Water will be able to draw water from Opequon Creek.

Oates also noted that Frederick Water is considering a more regional approach to providing water and sewer services and is contemplating providing water and sewer services to Warren County. Providing services to Clarke County would be consistent with that regional approach.

The matter will go before the Frederick County Board of Supervisors on Oct. 13.

Also at the meeting:

The commission unanimously supported an ordinance amendment that would remove a requirement that Master Development Plans be presented to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors at a public meeting as an information item prior to administrative approval. The supervisors will vote on the amendment on Oct. 13.

The commission also unanimously supported an ordinance amendment that would alter the requirements of opaque fencing. The proposed amendment would allow chain-link fences with slats to be considered an opaque fence if the landowner receives a waiver from the Board of Supervisors. Miller’s Ace Hardware near Stephens City requested the amendment. The matter will come before the supervisors on Oct. 13.

— Contact Josh Janney at jjanney@winchesterstar.com

(3) comments

hyldakay

I notice that no one don't talks about limited wastewater capacity because of nutrient limits placed on treatment facilities.

GreaterThanScott

Does the Frederick County Planning Commission actually do any planning?? By opening up this huge area to Sewer and Water, will lead to much more development within the Tasker Road corridor and also in Clarke County where it will affect Frederick County. How will the planning commission plan for the infrastructure needs for this area? How do they plan for the needed roads for this decision that they have just made? It took forever to get 277 upgraded just to Sherando High School, what happens on 277 east of Sherando once they open it up to more development.

I am all for being a good neighbor to Clarke County, but there is no way that Clarke County would reciprocate if the same decision to benefit Frederick County meant more development in Clarke County. This is just a bad idea!!

dmjc

Will someone please just relate the upside of this decision is for Frederick County residents. Will it help to improve water and sewer service to Frederick residents? Will is lessen current user rates? Will it strengthen Frederick's economic development posture? I can better buy in to the expansion if someone would just enumerate the up-side to Frederick County. Thanks

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.