Keep rural character
One of the qualities that separate Morgan County from its neighbors is its rural character. The comparatively pristine nature of Morgan County makes it attractive to the majority of its residents, which is why they choose to live here. We like our vistas of rolling hills and solitude. We understand some things cannot be commodified and marketed, for they have inherent worth.
We are fortunate to still have sizeable acreages of wild forests, clear-running trout streams and working family farms in Morgan County. A healthy, biologically connected landscape provides clean air, potable water, healthy soils and innumerable other “free”ecological services.
Furthermore, they offer a picturesque landscape that provides opportunities for non-consumptive recreation such as hiking, canoeing, outdoor photography, bicycling and environmental education, to name a few. They also provide some of the finest fishing and hunting in the state.
Conversely, a small faction of realtors and developers intends to develop Morgan County and forever alter its rural character. Foremost among them is the Freeman Corporation. Developers have neither the community interest nor the ecological health of the land at heart. From their distorted perspective, every foot of Morgan County, including its residents, are little more than exploitable commodities: a means to a very ignoble end otherwise known as self-enrichment or greed.
Not only are these developers undermining the welfare of the community, they are diminishing and foreclosing future options in their pursuit of profits.
A way to limit the defiling of Morgan County is to modify the Draft Zoning Study before submitting it to the Morgan County Commission. The zoning study should integrate the following provisions.
1. Incorporate sound ecological science as the centerpiece of the plan rather than economic criteria pre-fitted to the interest of developers.
2. Protect forests and provide biological corridors to facilitate the flow of genes between habitats.
3. Prohibit building in the floodplain.
4. Protect the recharge areas that feed the historic Berkeley Springs.
5. Preserve the rural character of Morgan County.
6. Promote controlled low-density growth.
The local government was elected to serve the people of Morgan County, not big business. Unlike County Commission president Brenda Hutchinson, some of those in the county government have abrogated their responsibility to the people they were elected to serve. As a result of their catering to corporate interests, our purported democracy has devolved into plutocratic kleptocracy.