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JEFFERSON COUNTY COMPREHEN­SIVE PLAN Jefferson County Planning Commission 1994


[[Jefferson County, WV. This plan & the ordi­nanc­es to carry it out are at http://www.listeners.homestead.com/. The Zoning map is there too. The only offi­cial copies of the plan & ordi­nances are in the files of the Coun­ty Clerk. Nei­ther Jeffer­son Coun­ty nor P Burke as­sumes re­spon­si­bil­ity for errors. Please re­port all prob­lems to listener‑owner@yahoogroups.com so im­prove­ments can be made. Editor's notes are in double brackets; these are not part of the adopted plan.]]



Edgar Ridgeway, Middleway District

R. Gregory Lance, Charles Town District

James G. Knode, Shepherdstown Dis­trict

Herbert S. Snyder, Harpers Ferry District

Gary M. Kable, Kabletown District

Leslie D. Smith, County Administrator



Scott Coyle, Pres.

H. Richard Flaherty, Past Pres.

Betty Roper, Vice Pres.

Ernest R. Benner, Sec/Treas.

Samuel J. Donley, Jr.

Paul W. Griger

Carolyn Hoffman

Rosella Kern

*James G. Knode

Lyle Camp­bell Tabb, III

Gilbert Page Wright, Jr.


*Representative from the County Com­mission



Paul J. Raco, Director of Planning & Zoning

Rebecca F. Burns, Executive Secretary

Paula Coomler Markstrom, Permit Offi­cer/Assistant

John C. Laughland, P.E., County Engi­neer

Natalie G. Parks, Consultant



The Jefferson County Planning Commis­sion and Staff would like to thank all of the Jefferson Coun­ty Boards and Commissions for their involvement in the writing of this Plan. The Com­mission would also like to thank Region 9 Planning and Development Coun­cil Staff for their data and Craig Yohn for his work on the Waste Water and Water Resources chapters. Finally the Com­mis­sion would like to thank all of the public who par­tici­pated in the preparation of the Com­prehen­sive Plan.








Demographic Analysis

Housing Analysis

Economic Analysis




Water Resources

Wastewater Treat­ment


Law Enforcement and Emergency Servic­es


Parks, Recreation, Culture and the Arts

Natural Resources

Historic Preservation

General Land Use

Agricultural Land Use

Residential Land Use

Industrial and Commercial Land Use





1    Place of Birth and Residence Five Years Before the Census for 190, 1980 and 1990

2    Population Change from 1960 to 1990 by Jurisdiction

3    Population Changes by Age and Sex

4    Marital Status for 1970, 1980 and 1990

5    Years of School Completed by Residents 25 Years and Older for 1970, 1980 and 1990

6    Income of Families for 1970, 1980 and 1990

7    Population Projections

8    Population ‑ Households

9    Periodic change in Households

10  Housing Profile ‑ 1990

11  Incorporated and Unincorporated Housing Growth

12  Trends in Housing Occupancy

13  Housing Structure

14  Building Permits

15  Median Value, All Housing Sales Panhandle and Surrounding Counties January 1, 1991 ‑ December 31, 1991

16  Estimated Values of Single Family Residential Structures ‑ Jeffer­son Coun­ty

17  Median Value, Owner‑Occupied Units, 1990

18  Contract Rents (Monthly)

19  Substandard Housing 1980 to 1990

20  Housing Needs for Jefferson County Based on Assessment of Substandard Housing

21  Age of Year Round Housing Units

22  Profile of Household ‑ 1980 versus 1990

23  Source of Sewer and Water ‑ 1980 versus 1990

24  Future Housing Needs Forecasts

25  Farm Statistics

26  Farm Tenure

27  Sex by Labor Force Status, Persons 16 Years and Older

28  Work Force Mobility

29  Average Annual Wage in Jefferson County Indus­tries

30  Persons Employed Age 16 and Over by Occupa­tion for 1970, 1980 and 1990

31  Employment by Industry for 1970, 1980 and 1990

32  Retail Trade, Establishments and Sales for 1977, 1982 and 1987

33  Wholesale Trade Establishments and Sales for 1977, 1982 and 1987

34  Service Establishments and Sales for 1977, 1982 and 1987

35  Manufacturing Industries‑Establishments and Sales for 1977, 1982 and 1987

36  Major Employers in Jefferson County

37  Industrial Site with Infrastructure

38  Undeveloped Industrial Properties

39  Industrial/Commercial Zones



40  Road Mileage by Class‑‑State System

41  Average Daily Traffic at Selected Locations

42  Summary of Traffic Problems in Jefferson County

43  Groundwater Use in 1988

44  Jefferson County Water Systems

45  Wastewater Treatment Plants

46  State, County and Local Police Protection

47  Police Calls in Jefferson County for 1983‑1985 and 1987‑1991

48  Emergency Operations 1987 to 1991

49  Public School Facilities in Jefferson County

50  Average Number of Pupils Per Household

51  Parks in Jefferson County

52  Rare and Endangered Species From either the Federal List or Rangewide Status


LIST OF MAPS [[not yet available electronically]]



1    Tax Districts



2    Highway Classification System

3    Highway Problem Areas

4    Water Systems

5    Sewer Systems

6    Fire Stations and Districts

7    Elementary School Districts

8    Junior and Senior High School Districts

9    Parks and Recreational Areas

10  Natural Resources


LIST OF FIGURES [[not yet available electronically]]



1    Population Growth Past and Projected in Jefferson County



2    Relationship of Production to Use Jefferson County Ground‑Water

3    Ground‑Water Use ‑ Jefferson County 1988



                                                                                                   PART I





About 250 years ago, settlers began ar­riving in what is now Jeffer­son County from Pennsylva­nia, Maryland, and Virginia. They found it rich in natu­ral resources and scenic beauty, and they shaped it into an area with a proud cultural heritage, growing indus­try, and respect for rural values. Many things in the County have changed over the years, but most of the old values still re­main, passed on from one generation to the next and from oldtimer to newcomer.


Now we are facing a new wave of arrivals. They are people who want to escape from the pressures and problems of the city and, sometimes, from excessive rules and regulations. Arriving in small numbers, they add new ideas and vitality to the communi­ty. When they arrive in masses, they bring with them the threat that Jeffer­son County will become just like the place they left. We cannot turn away people who want to become part of our way of life. And we cannot, like many of our ancestors, move further west­ward when we see the smoke from our neighbor's chimney. We need to make decisions now that will let us grow and change while we preserve our values and quality of life. We need a plan.


Past Planning Efforts in Jefferson County


During the 1950's and early 1960's, citizens in the County saw the Federal Government acquire Harpers Ferry and express interest in using the banks of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers for a national parkway. Fifty miles to the east, the Washington metro­pol­itan area was growing rapidly, as were most major urban areas on the eastern seaboard, and projections showed that eventual­ly growth would move into Jefferson County. Citizens saw Dulles Airport as a particular nearby magnet for some of that growth.

In response to these events, two groups of concerned citizens began meeting informally. These citizens felt that it was important for Jefferson County to plan its future with an emphasis on solving problems at the local level, particularly in light of the Federal pres­ence in the county. In early 1967, these groups petitioned the Jeffer­son County Commission to appoint a planning commission and in March 1967 the first planning commission was selected. It was composed of 11 members, including two from each magisterial district and one county commissioner.


With the assistant of Federal funds, the Planning Commission hired a consultant, Michael Baker, Jr., Inc. to prepare a Comprehen­sive Plan in 1968. The plan was to serve as a guide to future growth in the County. After a series of public hearings, the plan was submit­ted to the County Commission. The Comprehensive Plan was for­mally adopted in June 1972, along with the County's first Subdivi­sion Ordinance, which regulated how land was divided into lots. This Ordinance has since been substantially revised, first in 1973 and again in 1979.


In 1973, the Planning Commission began preparing a Zoning Plan for the County, following the recommenda­tions of the Compre­hen­sive Plan. This Zoning Plan was presented to the citizens through a series of public hearings around the County. In May 1976, the zoning plan was placed on the ballot for public referendum. The public decisively defeated the zoning plan by a three‑to‑one majority.


Understanding the reasons for the defeat of zoning in 1976 is impor­tant in initiating a program to prepare an updated Compre­hen­sive Plan and County planning program. To this day, the specific reasons are debated. However, there are a few reasons that are gener­ally accepted.


o    The zoning plan document was too complex and was mis­under­stood, producing a great deal of misinforma­tion about its poten­tial effects on property owners.


o    Not enough time was taken to educate the public on the zoning proposal. Meetings that were held were called "hearings," giving citizens the impression that the zoning ordinance was virtually finalized. This lack of public un­derstanding caused a great deal of opposition.


o    Many residents, newcomers and oldtimers alike, hold dear­ly to their right to use their land as they see fit. Zoning was viewed as an unacceptable infringement of this right.


Despite the defeat of zoning, the 1972 Comprehensive Plan has proved to be a useful tool over the years.


In July 1985, the Jefferson County Planning Commission ap­point­ed a Citizen Advisory Committee to help develop the Compre­hensive Plan. The seventeen Committee members were selected to represent not only the concerns of specific areas in the county but also broader concerns such as business, agriculture, education, transporta­tion, public health and safety, land conservation, and historic preservation. Working independently, with the help of State and County staff, the Committee completed that task at the end of 1986.


In December of 1986, the Planning Commission and subsequent­ly the County Commission approved the Comprehensive Plan which was prepared by this cross section of Jefferson County citizens. This plan led to the adoption of the Zoning and Development Re­view Ordinance adopted in 1988.


                                                                          THE BASIS FOR A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN


Why Should We Plan?


Planning is a process we all undertake. It consists of finding out where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there. Just as the farmer or businessman must plan activities that affect him, so should a community plan the activities that affect it. Com­muni­ty planning gives elected and appointed officials a rational basis for making their decisions based on what results are desired, what future conditions are likely to occur, and how various inde­pendent actions can relate to each other and be mutually benefi­cial.


There are many reasons for undertaking a planning program in Jefferson County. the most prominent of these include the fol­low­ing.


Advanced and comprehensive planning will save money. Care­ful consideration of the many interrelated factors of the total community will assure, as much as possible, that every new development in the county is properly located and properly designed so that it will not have to be torn up and replaced or moved before it is worn out. Timely planning can also pre­vent costly mistakes as to the location of county facilities and the provision of county services.


A well‑planned and developed community is more attractive to potential investors and employers. Investors consider it sound business to plan for their future development, and they look with favor on communities that use such sound business mea­sures. Employers seek communities that are pleasant and conve­nient places for their personnel to live‑‑communities that have good schools, hospitals, churches, recreational facilities, etc. Planning efforts can aid in the realization of these goals.


Farsighted and innovative planning will preserve natural ameni­ties and enhance property values. Good planning, coupled with equitable enforcement of control measures, will provide a prop­erty location for all required uses of land in the county. It will also prevent undesirable intermingling of conflicting uses of land.


A sound plan that recognizes current land use and anticipated needs is essential to a smooth‑flowing transporta­tion system of roads and highways. Transportation may be considered the link to overall development of the county. Industry, education, health, recreation, and housing depend on an efficient transpor­tation system for development and survival.


Planning affords much‑needed protection of unincor­po­rated portions of the county surrounding existing com­munities. Much of the new residential growth in the county is taking place out­side the municipal boundaries. An all‑embracing plan can pre­vent un­desirable and costly scattered development that be­comes a heavy burden to the taxpayers. Such an effort can prevent the cluttering of the countryside with improperly locat­ed auto­mobile junkyards and other property‑devaluating devel­opments.


How Should We Plan?


Although the specific process will vary from community to com­munity, there are several basic steps to the planning process. These are outlined below.


1.   Assess community values and identify prob­lems and op­portuni­ties.

2.   Determine overall goals and objectives.

3.   Collect, update, and analyze information.

4.   Compare and choose an alternative plan.

5.   Adopt comprehensive plan.

6.   Develop alternate implementation tools.

7.   Adopt tools.

8.   Monitor results and changing conditions.


Comprehensive Plan Recommendations


It is very important to note at the beginning of this plan that although there are many recommenda­tions included, most can only be imple­mented with the proper funding mechanisms in place. With­out fund­ing these recommendations can only be prioritized for such time when funding becomes available.


                                                                                           STATEMENT OF GOALS


The following list of general goals was prepared to serve as guide­lines for the preparation of the Comprehen­sive Plan. The follow­ing goals are listed randomly, with no particular purpose as to their order:


o    Encourage growth and development in areas where sewer, water, schools, and other public facilities are available or can be provid­ed without excessive cost to the community.


o    Insure that growth and development are both economically and environmentally sound.


o    Promote the maintenance of an agricultural base in the County at a level sufficient to insure the continued viability of farming.


o    Encourage and support commercial, industrial, and agricul­tural activities to provide a healthy, diversified, and sound local econ­omy.


o    Promote the conservation of the natural, cultural, and his­torical resources and preserve the County's scenic beauty.


o    Advocate the maintenance and improvement of the trans­porta­tion system so that people and goods can move safely and efficiently throughout the County.


o    Provide safe, sound, decent housing for all residents of the Coun­ty.


o    Give citizens a chance to affect the course of planning activi­ties, land development, and public investment in Jefferson County.


o    Establish a planning framework within which the various con­flicting activities and objectives can coexist, while providing logical, continuing, and farsighted guidance for the future of the community.


o    Support and defend private property rights while insuring over­all public health, safety, and general welfare.


                                                                                     ORGANIZATION OF THE PLAN


The Comprehensive Plan has been organized in three parts. Part A consists of the introduction which describes the reasons and basis for planning. Part B contains three sections on demographics, hous­ing and economic development, and includes an analysis of data, primari­ly from the U.S. Bureau of Census, in each of these areas. These sections provide much of the basic information upon which the second part was prepared.


Part III is comprised of background information, analysis, and recom­mendations to address the major trends and problems affect­ing the County. This part is broken into ten sections based on topic and includes; Transportation, Education, Water Resources, Wastewater Treatment, Solid Waste Disposal, Emergency Services, Parks, Recre­ation, Culture and Arts, Historic Preservation, Natural Re­sources and land use sections on Agriculture, Industrial and Com­mercial, and Residential Development. Additional background information on each of these areas is available for viewing in the Jefferson Coun­ty Planning Commission office.



                                                                                                 PART II







This element of the Comprehensive Plan analyzes trends and char­acteristics of past and current populations and presents projec­tions of future population growth.


                                                                                           POPULATION GROWTH


U. S. Census population statistics for Jefferson County from 1900 to 1990 are plotted on Figure 1.


During the first half of this century, the population of Jefferson County ranged between 16,000 and 17,000 people. Beginning in the 1950's the population of the county began to grow. Between 1960 and 1970 the County's population increased from 18,665 to 21,280 residents, an increase of only 14.5%. Between 1970 and 1980 population went to 30,302, an increase of 42.3%, and be­tween 1980 and 1990 an increase of 18.6% brought the figure up to 35,926.


Jefferson County is part of the Washington Metropolitan Fringe as defined by the Greater Washington Research Center. Growth in the County is influenced by what is happening in the Washing­ton Metropolitan Region as a whole. The Greater Washington Research Center has pointed out the following things about growth in the region:


1.   "Jurisdictions on the fringe (such as Jefferson County, that still are not officially part of the metropolitan area had seemed to be taking off in the 1970's; yet their growth in the 1980's was surprisingly modest."


2.   "Future growth is likely to go primarily where the housing is most affordable."


3.   During the 1970's "'Sewer moratoria' were imposed in both the Maryland and Virginia suburbs to allow infra­structure devel­opment to catch up with the needs created by the rapid growth of the 1960's." "The growth oc­curred anyway, but it took place in jurisdictions one or two tiers farther from the cen­ter." "The 1990's could see that history repeated."


4.   "Growth patterns turned inside‑out in the 1980's. The inner suburban jurisdictions gained far more than in the previous decade, while growth in the suburbs farther out either slowed or increased only moderately. And population increase in most of the fringe jurisdictions was, surprising­ly, slower in percent­age terms‑‑and in a couple of cases in numbers as well‑than during the preceding decade."


5.   A significant part of the 1980's growth in the Met­ropolitan Washington area "was ac­commodated through in‑filling‑‑building homes and apartments, most often townhouses and low‑rise structures, on rela­tively small unde­vel­oped plots of land in heavily‑developed areas. Many of these were in­side the Beltway, in parts of North­west Washing­ton, Bethesda, Silver Spring, Arlington, and Alex­andria. High‑priced homes were usually built on these lots for sale to an affluent market, and the demand for them clearly existed, for a time at least. Many were occu­pied as soon as they were com­pleted. But this market was decidedly limited, and by the end of the decade it was clear that it was becoming saturated."

6.   "During the 1990's, the growth seems likely to go where the housing is most affordable. For the near term, that seems likely to include Prince George's. Both immediately and over the longer run, it means that growth will also tend to favor the outlying counties where it was less vigor­ous than expected dur­ing the 1980's. The probably re­sult? A return to the pattern of the 1970's, with growth occurring mainly on the fringes, and the area becom­ing even more sprawling than before."


Population increases are a result of two major factors: natural increase and migration. Natural increase is due to a greater number of births versus the number of deaths. In Jefferson County, between 1980 and 1990, there were 5,028 births and 2,933 deaths, providing a natural increase of 2,095 people. This natural increase accounted for 37.3% of the overall population growth in the county during the 1980's. During the 1970's natural increase only accounted for 13.6% of overall growth.


The second factor which has contributed to the county's growth has been the migration of people into the County. To calculate the migra­tion over the 1980 ‑ 1990 period, the natural increase is sub­tracted from the difference in population for the period. Although this does not consider annual shifts or migration out of the County between census years, it does provide the general magnitude of net migration to the County. Using this method, migration accounted for 3,529 persons in the County between 1980 and 1990, or approxi­mately 353 people annually. Compared with the decade of the 1970's, immi­gration has declined from 86.4% to 62.7% of total growth and total growth as a percentage of the 1970 population figure has de­clined from 42.4% in the 70's to 26.4% in the 80's.


The Internal Revenue Service maintains migration data based on exemptions claimed and changes of address. Between 1980 and 1990 an analysis by the Planning Commission Staff showed an esti­mated net migration was about 3524). The IRS data for the period between 1981 and 1982 showed a negative net migration of approxi­mately 480 persons. Building permits hit a low for the decade at approxi­mately the same time. However, in all other years during the 1980's the net migration reflected an inflow. And in the later half of the decade the average annual net migration was approximate­ly 630 persons per year.


Table 1 shows the increase in the number of individuals residing outside the county and state five years prior to the 1970, 1980 and 1990 Census. Also shown in this table is the birth place of County residents.



                             % of                 % of                  % of

Place of Birth       1970     Total    1980     To­tal     1990     Total

West Virginia     14812     69.6  16593     54.8   16992     47.3

Other State          5444     25.6  13099     43.2   18337     51.1

Foreign Born            54       0.3      480       1.6       597       1.6

Other                     818       3.8      130       0.4            

Total            21128     99.3  30302   100.0   35926   100.0


Residence 5 Years Before Census

Same House       10921     51.3  15470     51.1   18124   50.45

Same County       4062     19.1    5343     17.6     6907   19.22

OtherWV County   978       4.6    1014       3.3     1648     4.58

Other State          2517     11.8    5794     19.1     6549   18.22

Abroad                    33       0.2      393       1.3       179         .4

Total            18511     87.0  28014     92.4   33407     92.9

Total population              21280               30302               35926


Source: 1970, 1980 and 1990 U. S. Bureau of the Census [[appar­ent typos or preliminary data: 1990 Census now shows born in WV 16699 46.5%, other state 18454 51.4%, other (born abroad of US parents) 176 0.5%; 1970 total pop­u­la­tion 21280, of which foreign born 152, other 54, not reported 818]]


The only clear trend shown on Table 1 is that the percentage of County residents that are native West Virginians has declined from a substantial majority (69.9%) to a minority (47.3%). In actual numbers West Virginia‑born residents have gone from 14,812 to 16,992, whereas the number of persons born elsewhere has gone from 6,316 to 18,934. This probably reflects growth and expansion coming from the metropolitan areas and from the coun­ties in Mary­land and Virginia.


One of the most significant changes created by the increased growth has been its distribution in the County. Unlike the period from 1900 to 1950 when the incorporated areas (with the excep­tion of Harpers Ferry) grew more rapidly than the unincorporated areas, most of the growth since 1960 oc­curred outside the incorpo­rated areas. These areas grew 110% while the incorporated areas as a whole only increased by 4.3% during the 70's and 80's. As of 1990, 76% of the total county population lived in unincorporat­ed areas, as opposed to 57% in 1960. The specific population counts as well as the percentage increase for the period from 1960 to 1990 are shown in Table 2. From this table one can get a sense of the general distribution of growth among the magisterial dis­tricts in the county through 1980. Unfortu­nately, the U. S. Bureau of the Census used different district boundaries in 1990. Map 1 shows the Tax District boundaries which remained constant during the study period.



Incorporated                                                                  %Change

Areas                   1960    1970    1980    1990   80‑90   60‑90

Bolivar 754            943      672    1013     50.7      34.3

Charles Town       3329    3023    2857    3122        9.3      ‑6.2

Harpers Ferry        572      423      361      308    ‑14.7    ‑46.2

Ranson 1974        2189    2471    2890     17.0      46.4

Shepherdstown    1328    1688    1791    1287    ‑28.1      ‑3.1

Total              5957    8266    8152    8620     +5.7       8.3

% Incorporated

Areas                 43        39        27        24


Unincorporated Areas by Census District

Charles Town       3426    4782    7287  6101*         **        **

Harpers Ferry      2087    2206    3904  8676*         **        **

Kabletown           1609    1739    2657  7115*         **        **

Middleway           1894    2264    4941  6649*         **        **

Shepherdstown    1692    2023    3361  7385*         **        **

Total            10708  13014  22150  35926

% Unincorporated

Areas                 57        61        73        76

 *Boundaries of districts have changed from 1980.

**Due to boundary changes, comparisons between census years would be meaningless.


                                                                                              Age and Sex Distribution


The median age of the County's population has increased from 27.1 in 1970 to 29.1 in 1980 and thence to 32.7 in 1990. This trend can be attributed to the following three factors:


1.   Aging of the "baby Boom" generation (those born between 1945 and 1960).

2.   Increased average length of life.

3.   Lower fertility rates.


The median age is not as high as the State average or the na­tional average. This probably is due to one character­istic of the Washington Region; that is, that this region attracts enough young people to keep the median average somewhat lower. Unemploy­ment in the Region has remained low relative to national averages, thus creating an attraction for young people from areas with less econom­ic vitality.


Table 3 shows the changes in population groupings by sex be­tween 1970 and 1990.



                                                             % Change

Age                      1970    1980    1990   70‑80   80‑90   70‑90

0‑17 Male            3599    4625    4784     28.5        3.4     32.9

Female           3501    4290    4411     22.5        2.8     26.0

Total              7100    8915    9195     25.6        3.1     29.5


18‑44 Male          3792    6290    7754     65.9      23.3   104.5

Female           3975    6296    8067     58.4      28.1   102.9

Total              7767  12586  15821     62.0      25.7   103.7


45‑64 Male          2223    2760    3441     24.2      24.7     54.8

Female           2265    2971    3366     31.2      14.0     48.6

Total              4488    5731    6807     27.7      18.8     51.7


65+ Male               827    1364    1710     64.9      25.4   106.8

Female           1098    1706    2393     55.4      40.3   117.9

Total              1925    3070    4103     59.5      33.6   113.1


Total Male         10441  15039  17689     44.0      17.6     69.4

Female         10839  15263  18237     40.8      19.5     68.3

Total            21280  30302  35926     42.4      18.6     68.8


These data indicate a low fertility rate during the 1980's relative to the number of females in the 18‑44 group. In 1970 the proportion of persons between ages 0‑17 to female 18‑44 was 1.786. By 1990 this had dropped to 1.140. School enrollment during the 1980's also reflects this situation. Total enrollment in Jefferson County public schools was 6239. In 1990 it was 6343, and increase of 1.7%, or essentially unchanged. In 1993 enrollment had only risen another 53 students to 6396.


From the figures above, it can also be seen that the percentage of residents aged 65 and over has also increased. This group in­creased more than any other between 1970 and 1990. From 1970 to 1980 the increase was 59.5%. Between 1980 and 1990 the in­crease was 33.6%. From 1970 to 1990 it was 113.3%.


The 1986 Comprehensive Plan contained the opinion that "the migra­tion of the baby boom generation" would result in a "demand for smaller, affordable housing" and an increase in the number of pre‑school and school aged children. On the other hand the 1986 Plan suggested that "with more women and couples remaining child­less, and fewer children per family, this trend should be moni­tored carefully over the next few years to confirm this trend." The Plan also suggested that "the mi­gration of retired citizens can be expected to place greater demand on health care systems in the County as well as senior citizen hous­ing facilities and nursing home facilities."


Current data suggests that other than a minor boomlet the baby boom generation is not replacing itself at rates that will place much pressure on schools. The minor 3.1% increase between 1980 and 1990 sug­gests that the people who caused the 25.7% increase in the 18 to 44 year old group didn't bring many children with them and haven't had many since they arrived. An in another five to ten years the reproductive capacity of the baby boom generation will have passed and been replaced by a smaller group which, if it contin­ues low fertility rates, could result in a leveling or de­crease in school age population.


The increases in the 65+ year old group expressed in numbers of people have been 1145 and 1033 for the 1970‑80 and 1980‑90 periods, respectively. These numbers indicate a relatively steady increase in retirement age County resi­dents. This is a reasonable supposition because retirees generally are not as affected by eco­nomic swings. Their decisions to move to Jefferson County proba­bly are based on low taxes, natural fea­tures such as the rivers and the mountain, and the generally rural nature of the County. Hence, it would be reasonable to assume that during the 90's the same steady population increase in this age group would continue.


Households, Families and Marital Status


Changes in households, families and marital status provide an indication of the social structure in the County. Family house­hold and householder are defined by the Bureau of the Census as fol­lows:


1.   Family ‑‑ "a householder and one or more persons living in the same household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. The Census Bureau counts only one family per household, however, not all house­holds contain fami­lies since a household may be made up of a group of unrelated persons or one person living alone."


2.   Household ‑‑ "all the people who occupy a housing unit. A household may consist of one person or many people, as long as they occupy the same housing unit."


3.   Householder ‑‑ "Usually this indicates the person or one of the people in whose name the home is owned, being bought, or rented. Classification of a person as the house­holder was based upon responses given on the census form, therefore, the house­holder may not be the "head" of the household. If there were no responses to this ques­tion any household member 15 years of age or older could have been designated as householder by the Census Bu­reau. Other persons in the household are classi­fied accord­ing to their relationship to the householder."


The total number of households in the County increased 57% between 1970 and 1980 from 6374 to 9980. Between 1980 and 1990 the number increased to 12,914. The number of families for 1970, 1980 and 1990 was 5304, 7883 and 9487, respectively. These numbers as a percentage of all households were 83%, 78% and 73% for the years, 1970, 1980 and 1990, thus showing a de­clining trend. Table 45 presents marital status trends from 1970 to 1990.



                             % of                 % of                  % of

Status                   1970     Total    1980     Total     1990     Total

Single   4146         26.0    5981     25.9    7126      25.1

Married                9892     62.1  13679     59.3   16328     57.7

Separated              212       1.3      350       1.5       501       1.8

Widowed             1247       7.8    1685       7.3     2001       7.1

Divorced                428       2.7    1379       6.0     2351       8.3

Total            15925   100.0  23074   100.0   28307   100.0

Source: 1970, 1980 & 1990 U. S. Bureau of the Census


Another area affected by these trends in households, families and marital status is the number of people residing in family and non‑family households. The average number of people per house­hold has declined from 3.2 (1970) to 2.9 (1980) to 2.68 (1990). Family household size has also decreased over the same census periods from 3.6 to 3.4 to 3.13 persons per household, due to the decline in the number of children per family. This decline in over­all house­hold size has and is expected to continue to have a major impact on the demand for additional housing units. Simply put, a greater number of housing units will be required to accommodate the same number of people. However, this logic also suggests that future housing units need not be as large as when households were larger.




The educational achievement of Jefferson County residents fol­lowed national trends during the 1970's and 1980's, with more people completing their high school education. The percentage of high school graduates, as shown in Table 56 below, increased from 42% to 57% to 68.2% of all persons 25 years and older between 1970, 1980 and 1990. This generally reflects a higher level of educa­tional achieve­ment of residents within the county as well as higher levels of educa­tion of those individuals who have migrated into the county.


Educational levels of a population influence the decisions of indus­tries that are looking at Jefferson County as a candidate for locating a new facility. Obviously high technology industry seeks a population that either is educated or shows evidence of technical aptitude. On the other hand, low technology industry seeks a popula­tion that is generally under employed, has a good work ethic and would be appreciative of a modest wage. Such populations often correlate with being under‑educated also. These factors in turn affect the de­mand for various types of residential growth‑‑for exam­ple, high‑end versus affordable or high versus low density. The County's land use policy can either be flexible enough to accommo­date the demands of these market decisions or be rigid in order to attempt to control these decisions and hence either meet the needs of the existing popu­lations or force shifts in the character of the population.




Years of School                % of                 % of                  % of

Completed           1970     Total    1980     Total     1990     Total


1‑4 Yrs.           953       8.6      876      5.1)

5‑7 Yrs.         1766     15.8    2086    12.1)     2861     12.8

8 Yrs.            1654     14.8    1710      9.9)

High School:

1‑3 Yrs.         2123     19.1    2776     16.1     4234     19.0

4 Yrs.            2630     23.6    5211     30.3     7522     33.7


1‑3 Yrs.           855       7.7    1757     10.2     3391     15.2

4+ Yrs.          1163     10.4    2801     16.3     4299     19.3

Total                  11144   100.0  17217   100.0   22307   100.0

% High School Grads 41.7             56.7                  68.2

Source: 1970, 1980, 1990 U. S. Bureau of the Census


Income and Poverty


The median income of families in the County, as shown in Table 6, increased from $7,721 to $17,577 to $34,887 between 1970, 1980 and 1990. After adjusting for inflation using the Con­sumer Price Index, the actual median family income increased 9.5% between 1970 and 1980. Between 1980 and 1990 the adjusted per­cent change was 25.1%.

These figures are better than the State median but slightly less than the national figure of $35,225. Table 6 provides a break­down by income group from the last three Census reports.


Table 6 INCOME OF FAMILIES FOR 1970, 1980 AND 1990

                                         % of                  % of                 % of

Income                 1970     Total    1980     Total     1990     Total

Less than $5,000              1470     27.7      551        7.0      210       2.2

$5,000‑$7,499                 1093     20.6      530      6.7)

$7,500‑$9,999                 1060     20.0      733      9.3)      563       6.0

$10,000‑$14,999             1074     20.2    1335      16.9      761       8.0

$15,000‑$24,999               473       8.9    2568      32.6    1476     15.6

$25,000‑$49,000               121       2.3    1950      24.7    4002     42.3

$50,000 or more                  13       0.2      216        2.7    2445     25.9

Total                          5304                 7883                 9457

Median Income        ($)    7721               17577               34887

Mean Income          ($)    8710               19906             39990+

Per Capita Income   ($)    2400                 6139               13249

Source: 1970, 1980 and 1990 U. S. Bureau of the Census


Changes in the median income of families could be the result of the following factors:

1.   Increase in percentage of persons employed in white‑collar occupations from 39.3% in 1970 to 49.1% in 1990.

2.   Increase in the number of families with two or more earn­ers.


Another measure of the overall economic well being is the extent of poverty in the community. Poverty for a non‑farm family of four was $3,745 in 1969, $7,412 in 1979 and $16,850 in 1992. In Jefferson County, the number of people with incomes below the poverty level rose from 3582 residents in 1969 to 3881 in 1979, then declined to 3670 in 1989. This is a decrease of 5.5% from 1979 to 1989.


                                                                                       POPULATION PROJECTIONS


Population projections have been prepared by the Regional Re­search Institute of West Virginia University (RRI/WVU) and the Jefferson County Planning Commission staff. The WVU pro­jec­tions contain two scenarios. Series M is based on current rates of birth, survival and migration whereas Series A is based on long term averages which portend more growth than current averages.


The Jefferson County Planning Commission staff projections are predicated on assumptions that (1) long‑term trends in dwelling unit construction will continue, (2) persons per dwelling unit will continue to decline and (3) fluctuations will occur due to economic cycles. Appendix A contains the development of these assump­tions.


The three projections plus an average of the three are presented below in Table 7. They are also plotted on Figure 1.




Projections Series        1995        2000        2005        2010         2015        2020

Regional Research Institute

Series M             38,806     41,457     43,844     45,904      47,612     48,968

Series A              39,163     42,137     44,831     47,178      49,120     50,671

JCPC                           39,994     44,121     48,391     52,874      57,770     63,101

Average 39,321          42,571     45,688     48,652     51,500      54,247


Source: Regional Research Institute, "West Virginia Population Projections by County, Age and Sex, 1990‑2020", West Virginia University, July, 1992.


In the original Comprehensive Plan a population projection of 50,000 was used for the year 2000. This number exceeds all of the above projections. In 1991 and 1992, permits were obtained for 411 and 406 dwelling units, respectively. During the first six months of 1993 permits for 194 new dwelling units were issued. These numbers suggest that the Planning Commission projection, although higher than those of the RRI/WVU, may not be far from the actual trend. However, the average of the three projection series is used throughout the rest of this document as the basis for com­puting population related needs.


The growth of the 1980's was not reflected in school enroll­ments, which remained essentially unchanged. This suggests that this growth came from immigration of households with no school‑age children‑‑perhaps primarily retirees. Unless the County experiences an increase in middle‑class salary jobs, the type of growth probably will continue to be the same. On the other hand, if employers of middle‑class workers move to the County, a greater influx of house­holds with children could be expected. In the 1970's and early 1980's property values were substantially less than the Washington Metropol­itan area. During the late 1980's this gap closed significantly although not completely. Land costs in Jefferson County still are less than in the Washington Metropolitan area but not to the extent as in the previous decade.


Increased employment opportunities for current County resi­dents in adjoining Berkeley and Washington Counties are taking up some of the slack created by the loss of major Jefferson County employ­ers such as Dixie‑Narco. But these employment opportuni­ties may not result in many new County residences because the natural ten­dency of new workers is to locate either near the job or in a direc­tion away from the metropolitan area. On the other hand, employ­ment growth in Frederick County, Maryland, could generate some residen­tial growth in Jefferson County if the differ­entials in home purchase prices and taxes remain significant. How­ever, future em­ployment growth in Frederick County and other parts of Maryland may not be at the level experienced during the 1980's due to a perceived negative business environment created by new tax in­creased on top of existing high tax levels.


The conclusion can be drawn that the impact of external em­ploy­ment opportunities does not appear to be changing and is not likely to change significantly. the most likely source of new em­ployment will be new industry in the County. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is constructing a training center north of Shepherdstown. This is an example of one type of employment growth, that is, decen­traliza­tion of Federal offices. Another type is the employment that the Burr Industrial Park would attract. In both cases, though, there is no basis for projecting trends. With regard to Federal agency moves, these are unpredictable and are subject to the political breezes. The Industrial Park is in its infancy. However, it appears that the new industries have begun to be at­tracted here due to availability of an inexpensive and hard working existing labor force and ready‑to‑use, competitively priced industrial lots. This may mean minimal immigration as the work force for these industries currently reside in the County. On the other hand, the question remains as to how much industry will be attracted due to a desire to relocate a technically sophisticated, well‑paid staff to an area with country aesthetics and lower taxes. This could result in substantial immigra­tion. Until these patterns have been estab­lished, the projections pre­sented will suffice. Perhaps by the next Comprehensive Plan update these trends can be considered.


Population growth is not forecast to be as vigorous as was pro­jected in the 1986 Comprehensive Plan, but could reach between 43,500 and 48,500 by 2005. The value, 46,000, will be used for analysis purposes.






This chapter is based on the "Housing Analysis, Eastern Pan­handle Counties of Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan" published in January, 1992 by the West Virginia Housing Development Fund and informa­tion from the U. S. Bureau of the Census and data analy­ses by Jeffer­son County personnel. The data presented in­cludes characteristics of households, characteris­tics of housing and an assess­ment of the specific issues of substan­dard housing and af­fordable housing.



                                                Residing in               Persons

                                                     Group   House-                           Per   House‑

                      Total                 Quarters        hold                 Household   holds

Actual 1970      21,280                   800 20,480                  3.21   6,374

Actual 1980      30,302                1,487 28,815                  2.89   9,980

Actual 1990      35,926                1,362 34,564                  2.68 12,914

Source:  U. S. Bureau of the Census



Year                     Total                         Annual Average

1970‑1980         3,606                               361

1980‑1990         2,934                               293

Source:  U. S. Bureau of the Census


Existing Housing Profile


In 1990, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, there were 14,606 housing units in the County. This number breaks down as shown in Table 10.


Table 10 HOUSING PROFILE ‑ 1990

Category                                  Number     Rate                         %of Total Units

Occupied housing units  12,914                                          88.4

Owner occupied                    9,286                                          71.9

Renter occupied                     3,628                                          24.8

Vacant housing units        1,692                                          11.6

For seasonal, recreation orr occasional use

                                          628                                            4.3


Home owner Vacancy Rate                                                  2.7

Rental Vacancy Rate                                                             6.2

Persons per owner‑occupied unit               2.75

Persons per renter‑occupied unit                2.48

Units with over 1 person per room

                                          330                                            2.3


By Voting District

Charles Town                              2,654                                          18.2

Harpers Ferry                              3,726                                          25.5

Kabletown                                   3,051                                          20.9

Middleway                                  2,411                                          16.5

Shepherdstown                            2,764                                          18.9

Total                                    14,606

Source: U. S. Bureau of the Census, 1990


Changes in the Housing Profile


The number of housing units according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census has grown as follows:


Total Number in 1970                  7,411

Increase during the 1970's      4,131

Total Number in 1980                11,542

% increase from 1970 to 1980                      55.7%

Increase during the 1980's      3,064

Total Number in 1990                14,606

% increase from 1980 to 1990                      26.5%


During the 1980's population increased by 18.5%. During the 1970's the increase in the number of housing units outpaced popu­la­tion growth by 55.7% to 42.4%. During the 1980's this contin­ued to be true (26.5% versus 18.6%) although both percentages were less than those of the 1970's. This trend is consistent with regional and national trends and is related to a declining number of persons per household. Of the total housing units 10,997 were located out­side of the incorporated areas of the County. These areas experi­enced substantial growth during the 1970's and 1980's.



                1970      Per-    1980      Per-     1990      Per-

                Units     rcent     Units      cent     Units      cent

Incorporated       2,640     35.7   2,962     25.7    3,609     24.7

Unincorporated   4,762     64.3   8,580     74.3  10,997     75.3

County Total       7,411              11,542              14,606

Source:  U. S. Bureau of the Census, 1970, 1980 and 1990


Trends in housing occupancy rates from 1970 to 1980 to 1990 are as shown below.



                                        1970    1980     1990

Total Occupancy Rate                90.4%  88.4%

Owner Occupied Rate(1976) 64.0% 74.1% 71.9%

Home Owner Vacancy Rate         1.8%    2.7%

Renter Vacancy Rate                    3.8%    6.2%

Source:  U. S. Bureau of the Census

The next three tables provide profiles of the type of housing structure. Table 13 compares total inventories in 1970, 1980 and 1990. And Table 14 shows the building permit (Improvement Loca­tion Permit) activity from 1980 through 1990.



                1970      Per-    1980      Per-     1990      Per-

                Units      cent     Units      cent     Units      cent

Single Family        5749     79.4    8493     76.5   10566     72.3

Multi‑Family           695       9.6    1344     12.1     1781     12.2

Mobile Homes       799     11.0    1261     11.4     2077     14.2

Other                                                                  182       1.3

Total                    7243               11098               14606

Source:  U. S. Bureau of the Census.


These figures indicate that the housing unit mix is changing in the direction of the lower cost housing. This may be related to in­creases in costs of single family houses. Table 14 pro­vides actual numbers of permits for the various types of housing going back to the year 1980.



Single Family      Apart-                 Total

De-             At-  Mobile     ment            Dwell­ing

Year     tached    tached  Homes     Units                 Units           

1980    143                0        39          2                   184

1981    155                0        48          5                   208

1982    112                0        30        17                   159

1983    103                0        29        82                   214

1984    124              31        26        88                   269

1985    136              24        40        64                   264

1986    189              16        37        16                   258

1987    256              12        38        80                   386

1988    270              22        42        20                   354

1989    370              25        68          4                   467

1990    367              21      103          0                   491

1991    284              18        66        24                   392

1992    331              12        63          0                   406

Total                                                                     4052

Plus Estimated Municipal Permits                           1000

Total residential permits ‑‑ 1980‑1992      5052

Source:  Jefferson County Planning Commission


Housing Costs


The West Virginia Housing Development Fund has evaluated housing costs in the Panhandle. Tables 15, 16, and 17 are taken from their study.



                                        Mean                Mean             Median

                Total            Average            Average            Average

                Units            Sale Per            Days on                 Sales

County Sold                   Month             Market                 Price

Berkeley                309                     26                   165            $ 89,853

Jefferson                218                     18                   180            $112,435

Morgan                    43                       4                   233            $ 64,584

Frederick, Va.        450                     39                  N/A            $107,112

Washington,Md.     901                     76                   144            $ 94,662

Frederick, Md.     1347                   112                  N/A            $134,918

Sources: Eastern Panhandle Board of Realtors, Greater Hagerstown Association of Realtors, Blue Ridge Board of Realtors, Frederick Co., Md. Board of Realtors


Other Median Housing Prices, 1990

Montgomery Co., Md. (All Housing, 1990)                   $167,620

Fairfax Co., Va. (4th Quarter, 1990)

Single Family Detached                                            $342,460

Town Houses                                                                      $177,460

Loudoun Co., Va. (All Housing, 1st Quarter, 1991)       $147,333


"Median house prices and number of units sold were derived from the Board of Realtors Multiple List Service. The Board of Realtors in the Eastern Panhandle indicates that many realtors do not report the units sold. Further, builders do not always use realtors in sell­ing new homes. Consequently, the numbers of units presented above are not absolute, but should be regarded as a representative sampling of real estate sales in this area."


The Jefferson County Planning Commission when receiving Im­provement Location Permit (ILP) applications requests appli­cants to provide an estimate of the value of the structure to be built. Table 16 shows the mean average of these estimated values for each year from 1980 to 1992.



Estimated Value

Year     S.F.Detached   S.F.Attached                 Mobile Homes

1980               $50,770            No. Data                       $ 8,840

1981                 49,110           "           "                            6,920

1982                 39,750           "           "                            8,690

1983                 45,300           "           "                            9,300

1984                 45,960            $34,730                           8,240

1985                 54,040              36,880                          10,100

1986                 65,130              52,500                          12,280

1987                 66,510              54,830                          12,350

1988                 74,290              52,860                          16,840

1989                 91,200              56,620                          14,070

1990                 91,980              54,450                          15,700

1991                 82,825              81,111                          13,795

1992                 82,843              97,667                          14,713

Source:  Jefferson County Planning Commission


These figures do not include land costs, and are self‑reported by applicants. However, over the period 1980 to 1990 the estimat­ed values increased by 81%, 57% (1984‑1990), and 78% for single family detached, single family attached and mobile homes, respec­tively. In 1991 and 1992 the trends changed. The possible reasons for these changes are as follows:

1.   Recessionary pressure lowed construction costs.

2.   Decreased demand for single family detached houses forced rices down.

3.   High‑end single family attached units outpaced more moder­ately priced items.

4.   The number of permits for single family attached housing was too small for statistical significance.

5.   The variation in mobile home values is within an acceptable variation and does not have significance as a trend.



                            1980    1990             Change

State of WV                  38,500 47,900            +24.4%

Berkeley County            43,200 70,600            +63.4%

Jefferson County            44,600 84,100            +88.6%

Morgan County             35,000 61,900            +76.9%

Source: The West Virginia Housing Development Fund, "Housing Analysis, Eastern Panhandle Counties of Berkeley, Jeffer­son and Morgan", January 1992


Table 17 is consistent with the estimates on Table 16; that is, that housing unit values in the Panhandle in general and in Jeffer­son County, specifically, have increased significantly. Higher values mean higher purchase prices which, in turn, have made it less pos­sible for some local residents to afford home ownership. This pres­sure has caused more demand for rental properties with an even higher percentage change in contract rents as shown in Table 18.


Table 18 CONTRACT RENTS (Monthly)

                            1980    1990           

                           Median   Median             Change

West Virginia                    $136    $221   +$ 85             + 62.5%

Berkeley County               $130    $284  +$154             +118.5%

Jefferson County               $135    $294  +$159             +117.8%

Morgan County                $107    $217  +$110             +102.8%

Source:  Ibid.


Rents tended to increase most in 1989 and 1990 due to a very limited supply. Emphasis on the single family houses dominated the market during the 1980's. However, during the early 1990's there has been an appearance of increased interest among some developers in provid­ing rental apartment units.


Substandard Housing


Substandard housing has traditionally been defined as housing which lacks complete plumbing and is over­crowded. Complete plumbing facilities means that a housing unit has a flush toilet, bath­tub or shower, and a wash basin with piped hot and cold water for the exclusive use of the occupants of the housing units. Over­crowd­ing is defined as having more than 1.01 persons per room in a household, excluding kitchens and bathrooms.


Table 19 shows that Jefferson County has a higher rate of housing units lacking complete plumbing, and a higher rate of over­crowded housing units than the averages for the State. In both areas, rental substandard housing is higher than owner occupied substan­dard housing. the highest concentrations of housing lacking plumbing facilities occurs in the Kabletown and Harpers Ferry Districts, while overcrowding is highest in the Charles Town and Middleway Dis­tricts. The Shepherdstown District had the lowest percentages of substandard housing in the County, and lower figures than the State average.


Substandard housing units having both overcrowding and lack of complete plumbing make up only 0.2% of the total occupied housing units. All of these were renter occupied units.


Table 19 SUBSTANDARD HOUSING 1980 to 1990

                1980            Percent of              1990            Percent of

Category         Number            Category           Number            Category

Occupied Housing Units Lacking Complete Plumbing

Renter              374                  14.5                   132                    3.6

Owner             282                    3.8                     87                    0.9

Total                656                    6.6                   219                    1.7

Occupied Housing Units with 1.01+ Persons Per Room

Renter              211                    8.2                   167                    4.6

Owner             272                    3.7                   163                    1.8

Total          483                    4.8                   330                    2.6

Total Occupied Substandard Units

                  102                  10.2                   443                    3.4

Sources: U. S. Bureau of the Census


The substandard housing breakdown is presented in Table 19 above. the figures indicate that 443 of the housing units overall are substandard, down from 1020 in 1980. Of these units 106 were both overcrowded and lacked complete plumbing.


Comparing 1990 with 1980 it is apparent that the propor­tion of crowded units to total units is declining.


The State determination of substandard housing includes an added element not included in the HUD determina­tion. Besides the stan­dards for plumbing and overcrowdedness, the State stan­dards in­clude central heating. These standards are applied to low income families and to elderly people, those that are forced by financial constraints to reside in substandard housing, to determine the num­ber of standard housing units required to fulfill the area's need. Those with the financial means to afford good housing, but that are living in substandard housing, are assumed to be there by choice, and are therefore not considered in the housing need cate­go­ry. In Table 20 below is information on the county's housing needs as deter­mined by the Eastern Panhandle Regional Planning and Develop­ment Council based on the State's standards for substandardness.



Elderly                          Small Family     Large Family

Owner   Renter  Owner  Renter  Owner   Renter     Total

1980    154            277      189    1155        68       188    2031

1990    *                    *          *          *          *           *          *

*Not available at time of publication

Source:  U. S. Bureau of the Census


Age of Housing Units


In regard to the age of the housing units in Jefferson Coun­ty, 11,707, or 80.2 percent of the total housing units have been built since 1940. Table 21 shows that 4,237, or 29.0 per­cent, of the County's hous­ing units were built between 1980 and 1990.



                                          Per-            Cumulative

Year Units Built                Units      cent     Units Percent


1989‑1990                         628       4.3      627        4.3

1985‑1988                       1959     13.4    2598      17.7

1980‑1984                       1650     11.3    4237      29.0

1970‑1979                       3982     27.3    8219      56.3

1960‑1969                       1813     12.4  10032      68.7

1950‑1959                       1045       7.2  11077      75.9

1940‑1949                         630       4.3  11707      80.2

1939 and earlier               2899     19.8  14606    100.0

Total                        14606   100.0

Source:  U. S. Bureau of the Census.


Rooms and Persons per Room


The mean number of rooms per housing unit in the County is 5.8, with 2.46 persons per unit, and a mean household size of 2.68. Shepherdstown has a mean household size, 2.27, below the mean size for the County. This is, in part, due to the non‑family college student population in that district. A profile of persons per house­hold is shown in Table 22.


Table 22 PROFILE OF HOUSEHOLD 1980 versus 1990

                                        1980      Per-                 1990      Per-

                                    Number      cent             Number      cent

One Person Households                1861     18.6                 2776     20.5

Two Person + Households            7760     77.8               10138     74.7

Non‑Family Households                 359       3.6                   651       4.8

Total                                       9980   100.0               13565   100.0

Source:  U. S. Bureau of the Census


In addition to the information on Table 22, married couples make up 60.0 percent of the total households. Male householders (with no wife present) make up 3.7% of the households while female householders (no husband present) make up 9.5% of the households. A large part of the discrepancy in the number of female household­ers over male householders may be due to the longer life expectancy of women. Many of the female householders may be elderly widows.


Facilities and Services


Table 23 shows the number of housing units in Jefferson County by water and sewer sources. Just over 50 percent of the total units are on public or private centralized water systems, and 40 percent are on public sewer systems. In contrast, 44% of the units rely on private wells and 58% of the County's housing units rely on septic tank sewer systems.


Table 23 SOURCE OF SEWER AND WATER 1980 versus 1990

                                        1980      Per-                 1990      Per-

Source of Water                       Number      cent             Number      cent

Central System                             5649     50.9                 7384     50.6

Drilled Well                                  4444     40.0                 6390     43.7

Dug Well                                        271       2.4                   408       2.8

Other                                              734       6.5                   424       2.9

Total                                     11098   100.0               14606   100.0

Source of Sewer

Central Sewer                               3670     33.1                 5906     40.4

Septic Tank                                  6743     60.8                 8486     58.1

Other                                              685       6.2                   214       1.5

Total                                     11098   100.0               14606   100.0

Source:  Ibid


Housing Assistance


Public involvement in providing housing opportunities for individ­uals of low and moderate income has been limited in Jeffer­son Coun­ty. Rental assistance and subsidies have been provided for 85 units in the county, which are administered by the Martinsburg Housing Authority. In addition, since 1980 over 230 rental units for moder­ate income individuals and families have been constructed around the county, including 34 units in Bolivar. These units have been built with the assistance of long term low interest loan guarantees from Farmer's Home Administra­tion and do not involve any direct rent subsidies.


The municipalities have also undertaken programs to im­prove existing housing stock in the incorporated areas using funds from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Through grants and low interest loans for housing rehabilitation, approximate­ly 150 units have been improved during the past five years. Al­though the greatest need for housing rehabilitation is most visible in the densely settled incorporated areas, similar needs exist in the County on a scattered site basis.


Future Housing Needs


The West Virginia Housing Development Fund has project­ed housing needs for each county in the Panhandle. The Fund ex­pressed the following opinions about estimating future growth.


"Household growth based on census data/population growth does not take into consideration needs for additional housing units which may be created by the existing population including:

*    Renter households purchasing homes

*    Households formed from existing families through mar­riage,  divorce, children moving away from parents, etc.

*    Households living in substandard housing

*    Mobile home owners moving into single fami­ly units."


The Fund used a method for determining needed housing units that was adapted from G. Vincent Barnett and John P. Blair's How to Conduct and Analyze Real Estate Market and Feasibility Stud­ies, 1982. Table 24 contains two projections using this method, one based on the Fund's population projection and one based on a projection by the Office of the County Engineer. This table looks at needed new construction based on projected population and house­hold size; however, it also includes shortfalls/surpluses in existing housing when looking at future needs.



                                                                                                         Based On

                                                                                                         Fund1      JCPC2

               (a)           Projected 1995 Population                                  39,017    39,321

               (b)           Estimated Required Housing (a/2.68)    14,559    14,672

               (c)           Plus 10% (vacancy rate/loss rate)                         1,455      1,467

               (d)           Total Estimated Housing Required by 1995          16,014    16,139

               (e)           *Minus units present in 1990                 13,535    13,535

               (f)            Additional Units Required by 1995 est. 2,479      2,604

               (g)           Required per year to 1995 (f/5)                           496         521

               (h)           Current Population, 1990                                     35,926    35,926

               (i)            Present Housing Re­quirements (35926/2.68)        13,405    13,405

               (j)            Plus 10% (vacancy/loss rate)                1,340      1,340

               (k)           Present Housing Re­quirement est.                        14,745    14,745

               (l)            Minus existing, 1990                                            13,535    13,535

               (m)          Shortage/surplus of housing                   ‑1,210     ‑1,210

               (n)           Estimated time to fill shortage (m/g)                      2.4yrs      2.3yrs                    


*Exclusive of seasonal use units and substandard units

1The West Virginia Housing Development Fund

2Jefferson County Planning Commission


By this method a housing shortfall is shown. However, "it is im­portant to also consider that the shortages are based on total hous­ing units available. No deductions or consideration is given for units which may be substan­dard and in need of rehabilitation or replace­ment, not to the economic mix of unit costs versus the buyers ability to pay." Hence, these forecasts of need may be under­es­timated.




Economic History


What is now Jefferson County was first settled by German, Dutch and Scottish pioneers in the early 1700's. These early set­tlers were farmers and craftsmen. One special asset of the Shenandoah Valley is that historically it has been a crossroads of the north‑south traf­fic through the Valley and the east‑west traffic for Western travel­ers. These factors influenced the decisions of railroad and canal compa­nies to establish lines in or near Jefferson County in the early 1800's providing employment and market access for local residents and businesses. Another significant factor during the early develop­ment of the County was the availability of native iron ore, which, together with the availability of good transportation led to the selec­tion of Harpers Ferry as the site for the U. S. Ar­mory. This industry, the first indication of the promi­nent position manufacturing would have in the local economy, brought jobs, prosperity and prestige to the County.


The destruction of this industrial base during the Civil War and the county's status of being either part of Virginia or West Virgin­ia, seriously hampered economic growth. The second eco­nom­ic period can be said to have begun in 1880. Agricultural and live­stock produc­tion became far more specialized and commercial­ly oriented. Lime and stone quarry mining along with their sup­porting processing industries became major employers. Textile mills and durable goods manufacturing also flourished during this period. The resulting di­verse opportunities for employment and economic stability allowed the County to prosper.


In the modern era after WWII, manufacturing and agricul­ture have remained major industries, although since the 1986 Com­prehen­sive Plan some decline in these sectors has occurred. Sec­tors such as mining and transportation (railroad) have lost some of their prom­inence being replaced by tourism, warehousing and opportunities with the federal government in the County and re­gion.




In 1987 approximately 83,000 of the total 135,040 acres of land in Jefferson County were actively farmed. This acreage pro­duced some $19 million worth of farm products annually, which represents a decrease of $3 million from 1982.


Table 25 is a summary of farm statistics for Jefferson County for the years 1974, 1978, 1982 and 1987. These data are taken from the U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. Since 1969 the amount of land in farms and the number of farms have declined by 13.0 and 8.1%, respectively.



                            1974    1978    1982     1987

Number of Farms                            381          370          398           363

Land in Farms (acres)                86642      84985      87648       83079

Percentage in Farms                        64            63            65             62

Average Size (acres)                      227          230          220           229

Avg. Value Per Farm ($)          191369    294270    312631     385413

Avg. Value Per Acre ($)                842        1285        1442         1684



Cattle & Cows (All)                   22233      20896      20213       17925

Dairy Cows                                   5325        5948        5780         4692

Poultry                                         76203      37831         N/A         2278

Crops, All Acres                        36310      41790      48024       39190

Fruit (All Acres)                           3443        4009        4466         3354

Apple                                     2718        3584        3813         2871

Peach                                       573          379          526           365

Corn                                             16514      21884      10953


Sale of Farm Products (in $1,000 of dollars)

Total Value ($)                            12794      17222      22166       18813

Average Per Farm ($)                       34            47            56             52

All Crops                                       4312        6432        9619         7164

Fruit                                        2391        3964        4839         4584

Grains                                     1627        2117        4260         1876

All Livestock & Poultry Products

                                        8452      10790      12547       11652

Cattle & Calves                    2663        2818        2571         3161

Dairy                                      4752        7027        8980         7592

Poultry                                     444          365         N/A           169

Source:  Census of Agriculture 1974, 1978, 1982 and 1987.


Agriculture in the County is diverse. There is significant pro­duction in three different areas; dairy products, fruits (primarily apples) and grains (principally corn). Generally, dairying continues to be the leading source of farm income in the County, followed by fruit production and cattle and calf sales, which now both ex­ceed farm income from grain production. Other uses such as fish farming and Christmas tree growing exist in the County.


A review of the information on farm operators shows that most farms are family operated. Although most farmers also lived on their farms for five or more years the percentage has decreased from 88% in 1982 to 85% in 1987. There are other changes in the characteristics of farms that may suggest changes in the future. An increasing number of farmers have listed their principal occupa­tion as non‑farming. Between 1974 and 1987, this figure increased from 33.8% to 43.8%, although in 1982 the percentage was 45.5%. This large proportion of farms being operated as a second occupa­tion suggests that some farms are no longer economically viable and may be vulnerable to conversion to non‑farm use. Another factor that may have a negative implication for farming is aging of the farm operators. In 1987 31% of the farm operators were over 65 years old, an increase from 25% in 1982. However, these and other related issues are more fully discussed in the Agriculture‑Land Use section of this plan.



                          Farmers  Farmers  Farmers

                            1978    1982    1987

Type of Organization

Family Farms                300      328      293

Partnerships                    45        42        40


Family held               20        23        27

Non‑Family                4          2          1

Operator Residence

On Farm                      262      292      282

Off Farm                        84        85        61

Operator's Principal Occupation

Farming                        213      217      204

Other                           157      181      159

Years on Farm

Four or Less                             41        48

Five or More                          289      271


Less than 44                 137      129        88

45 to 64                       172      156      161

65 and over                    77        97      114

Source:  Census of Agriculture, 1978, 1982 and 1987




A very important component of the population profile is the local economy. The welfare and prosperity of the local resi­dents de­pends on the local and regional economy. This part of the report is broken down into three segments: 1) Labor Force; 2) Business and Industry; and, 3) Tourism.


Labor Force


As with other facets of the County, there have been some signifi­cant changes in employment characteristics, due to the over­all growth in population. The total available labor force (persons be­tween the age of 16 and 65) in Jefferson County increased 58% between 1970 and 1980 from 8,428 to 13,311 and increased anoth­er 39% to 18,540 between 1980 and 1990. Participation in the labor force, increased somewhat between 1980 and 1990 from 49.7% to 51.6%. This re­flects the large in‑migration of persons of young working age dis­cussed earlier. The labor force status by sex for 1980 and 1990 is shown on Table 27. Particularly notewor­thy is the in­crease in the percentage of women in the civilian labor force. In 1970 only 35% of all females 16 years and older were employed or seeking employ­ment. By 1982 this figure had risen to 39.6% and by 1990 it had reached 57.0%. The male participa­tion rate was 77.0% in 1990.


Armed Forces  Employed         Unemployed      Not in L.F.

Year        Male          Female       Male    Female       Male    Female       Male    Female

1980    12                  0   7,410   4,887      489       513   3,093   6,082

1990    20                  0   9,864   7,767      514       375   3,081   6,130

Source:  1980 and 1990 Census


Jefferson County has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state and its rate is generally below that of the nation. Over the last two decades the rate has only gone above 8% in four years and has been as low as 2.9%. Currently the rate is near 5.5%. This indi­cates that the employment picture is fairly positive.


Many of Jefferson County's residents are also employed outside the County which is shown in Table 28 below. These data are over a decade old. However, there is little to indicate any substan­tial change in the conclusions drawn from these data.



                                                Number of        Percentage of

                                                Workers           Workers          

                                        1980    1990     1980    1990

Residents Working in

Jefferson County                           7012    9000      58.8     51.0

Berkeley County (Another WV County*)

                                        1056    1326        8.9       7.5

D.C. Metro Area (Another State*)

                                        1495                  12.5

Other Areas                                  1434    7058      12.0     40.0

Not Reported                                 935      247        7.8       1.5

Subtotal                                  4912  17631      41.2     49.0

Total                                     11932

*1990 Census Categories


Non‑residents Working in Jefferson County From

Berkeley County                           1006

Other                                              170

Subtotal                                  1176

Source:  1980 and 1990 Census


As the above figures show, the percentage of Jefferson County's residents employed in the County has dropped from 59% in 1980 to 51% in 1990. This is an indication that the County is becoming a bedroom communi­ty. In 1980 four times as many work­ers left the county to find work as those that came into the county to find work (4,912/1,176). This indicates some weakness in the economic base of the County. The County, by not having the basic employment for its residents, is losing some of the finan­cial gain in terms of tax revenues, that could be reaped from businesses located in the County and their hiring of local residents.




In contrast to the average income of $39,990 discussed in the demo­graphic section, wages in Jefferson County industries are below the average state wages as shown in Table 29. These lower wages may be due to the limited opportunities available locally for semi‑skilled, skilled and professional employment. In contrast, the overall average income, as stated before, is primarily due to higher incomes earned outside the County.



                                                             Jeff. (1992)       WV (1992)

            Overall                                                  $27,343            $22,179

  Manufacturing                                      23,344              29,758

Retail Trade                                            10,212              11,459

Services                                                 13,721              19,098

Government                                            22,201              22,541

Transportation and Public Utilities           22,809              29,932

Source:  W. Virginia Bureau of Employment Programs, WV Em­ployment and Wages 1992, Statistical Abstract of the United States


Employment by Occupation and Industry


Between 1970 and 1980 there were significant shifts in the occupa­tions and industries of residents in the County. Overall, white collar workers increased from 39% to 46% of all people employed, while blue collar workers declined from 38% to 33%. This shift from blue collar occupations to white collar jobs gener­al­ly coincid­ed with national trends. Between 1980 and 1990 this trend as shown in Table 30 continued but not at as steep a rate as in the previous decade. White collar workers in 1990 accounted for 49% of the employed persons, age 16 and over. The only dra­matic change during the 1980's was an almost 200% increase in the number of sales workers.



                            1970                 1980                 1990

                           Num-      Per-   Num-      Per-   Num-      Per-

Occupation                          ber      cent       ber      cent       ­ber      cent

Professional&Tech.          1227     15.0    2179      17.7    2675     15.2

  Health Practitioners             46       0.6        87        0.7        **        **

  Health Workers                  73       0.9      224        1.8        **        **

  Teachers                          352       4.3      947        7.7        **        **

  Technicians,non‑health        99       1.2      205        1.7      533       3.0

Other Professional              657       8.1      716        5.8        **        **

Managers&Admin.             618       7.6      969        7.9    1731       9.8

Sales Workers                    401       4.9      539        4.4    1549       8.8

Clerical & Kindred             960     11.8    1943      15.8    2708     15.4

Craftsman&Kindred         1181     14.5    1742      14.2    2676     15.2

  Mechanics&Repairs 231    2.8      485       3.9         **        **

  Construction Trades 486    6.0      831       6.8         **        **

  Other Craftsman               464       5.7      426        3.5        **        **

Operatives,excTrans         1051     12.9    1059        8.6    1124       6.4

Transport Equip. Operators

                              348       4.3      627        5.1      838       4.8

Laborers, exc.farm             498       6.1      618        5.0      962       5.5

  Construction Laborer 183   2.2      128       1.0         **        **

  Material Handlers               94       1.2      116        0.9        **        **

  Other Laborers                 221       2.7      374        3.0        **        **

Farmers&Farm Managers

                              283       3.5      320      2.6)      954       5.4

Farm Laborers&Foreman

                              396       4.9      447      3.6)           

Service Workers                978     12.0    1733      14.1    2280     12.9

Cleaning Services               253       3.1      415        3.4        **        **

  Food Services                  321       3.9      590        4.8        **        **

  Protective Services             72       0.9      204        1.7      217       1.2

Other Service Workers       332       4.1      524        4.3    2063     11.7

Private Household Workers

                              214       2.6      121        1.0      134       0.7

Total                          8155               12297               17631 100.0%

Source:  1970, 1980 and 1990 U. S. Bureau of Census


*Table 30 and 31 and the accompanying analysis are based on Cen­sus place of residence data. Therefore, although Jefferson County residents may be working in a particular field, some of those jobs are based outside the County.


**Category title for the 1990 Census differ from those of the 1970 and 1980 Census.


In terms of the eleven major industries employing residents in the county, only one, mining, showed any decline. In the remain­ing industrial categories, growth varied consider­ably. The greatest growth occurred in the areas of finance, insurance and real estate (142%), construction (109%), retail trade (73%) and transportation, communi­cation and utilities (56%). The service industry, however, re­mained the largest sector by industry with 30% of the total work force fol­lowed by retail trade with 15% (up from 13% in 1980). Table 31 shows the number of people employed in each of the 11 major indus­tries as well as the percent change between 1980 and 1990.


Table 31 EMPLOYMENT BY INDUSTRY FOR 1970, 1980 AND 1990

                                                                                     % of Change

Industry                                        1970    1980     1990               80‑90

Agriculture                                      830     756)       983                  28.5

Forestry & Fishing                            13         9)

Mining                                206      127      116                  ‑8.7

Construction                                   789    1139     2378                108.8

Manufacturing                               1636    2038     2399                  17.7

  Nondurable Goods                       644      716       818                  14.2

  Durable Goods                             992    1322     1581                  19.6

Trans., Comm., & Utilities               390      707     1101                  55.7

Wholesale Trade                             145      333       384                  15.3

Retail Trade                                  1083    1576     2730                  73.2

Finance, Ins. & Realty        196      373      904                142.4

Services                                        2516    4182     5330                  27.5

Public Administration          351    1057    1306                  23.6

Total                                       8155  12297   17631

Source:  1970, 1980 & 1990 U. S. Bureau of Census


A study of the West Virginia Private Industry Council of East­ern Panhandle Employment concludes that the most rapid gains in em­ployment will be in Service Workers; Professional, Technical and Kindred Workers; and Sales Workers. The slowest growth occupation will be Laborers (Non‑Farm) and Craft and Kindred Workers. Service workers are and have been the largest employ­ment sector.


An evaluation of the labor force indicates that there are both strengths and weaknesses. On the one hand, there is an ample sup­ply of poten­tial workers. Low unemployment rates during the late 1980's indicat­ed that potential workers were not actively seek­ing employ­ment. Incentives in terms of occupations and pay need­ed to attract or to provide these potential workers a place in the work force was a matter of speculation. The recession of 1990‑92 result­ed in layoffs locally which created more competition for jobs.


Another factor in the labor market is the overall level of educa­tion of County residents. In 1990 16% of the County popula­tion had a bachelor's degree or higher and 68% had a high school degree or higher. These improving education levels, as they translate into wages, may have a positive influence in attracting businesses. Howev­er, an improvement in the skills and education of the labor force is needed to attract other than high paying, high skill, technology related businesses. Vocational training programs designed in coopera­tion with company execu­tives should be orient­ed towards improv­ing the skills of local residents in high skill areas if it is the objec­tive of the County to attract high wage firms to the County. In the mean­time, training for semi‑skilled jobs may be more compatible with the type of industries which currently are being attracted to the Coun­ty. Either way the pro­grams at James Rumsey Vocational Techni­cal Center have been effective in using private and public sector coop­eration in design­ing their training programs. Opportuni­ties for expan­sion in this area should be ex­plored.


Business and Industry


Historically, small business development in the region has taken place in close proximity to housing and population growth. The combination of limited mobility and inadequate transportation routes fostered early small business development within the incor­porated areas. Hence, the older, more established small business firms are located in Charles Town and the other small towns.


In recent years, population growth and transportation im­prove­ments have generated new markets for small businesses. Multi‑purpose shopping centers have been built on the outskirts of several communi­ties, thereby creating competition for down­town businesses. In some instances, shopping centers have attract­ed downtown merchants to suburban locations. In addition, rela­tively easy access to Maryland and Virginia fosters shopping in Hagerstown, Frederick and Winchester, thereby detracting from small business development in the county.


While recent small business development on the fringe areas has helped increase the variety of goods and services available to area residents, it has also heightened the competitive disadvantage of the traditional central business district (CBD).


Even so, the outlook for small business development in the region is promising. Trends in those sectors of the economy tradi­tionally associated with the small business community, namely retail trade, wholesale trade, and services, during the mid 1980's, indicated con­tinued growth in the number of firms, sales and em­ploy­ment. In addition, Private Industrial Council projections fore­casted an addition­al 2,587 jobs in the regions trade, finance, and service sectors by the year 1990. At this time only 1987 data are available. Hence, it is not possible to determine whether or not these projec­tions were correct. In light of the recession and the sluggish recov­ery it would not be unreasonable to estimate that the projec­tions fell short.


However, the region is competitive in attracting industry. The challenge to the region's communities is to balance small busi­ness development between new and existing facilities and assist the small business community in remaining competitive with adjacent states.


Table 25 shows data about retail trade for the years 1977, 1982 and 1987. However, the lack of 1992 data makes it difficult to assess the current post‑recession condition.



                                                                                     Percent Change

                                                                             1977    1982

                                        1977    1982     1987       ‑82       ‑87

Jefferson County

Establishments        134      145      184        8.2     26.9

Sales (in Millions)               53.3     69.9    118.4     31.1     69.4

West Virginia

  Establishments              10,175   9,853  10,737      ‑3.2       9.0

Sales (in Millions)           5463.3 7276.8  9030.0     33.2     24.1

Source:  Bureau of the Census, Census of Retail Trade, 1972, 1977 and 1982.


In specific categories, the census shows that between 1982 and 1987 the County experienced increases in all categories of retail sales.


Principally this underscores the potential for major expansion in the area of retail trade. Retail trade does not appear to have grown at the same rate as the population leading to the conclusion that local incomes are being spent outside the county. A simple com­pari­son illustrates the point. While Jefferson County has 1.55% of the state population and per capita incomes higher than the state aver­age, it has less than 1% of the state's sales in retail trade.


Table 33 shows that the wholesale market between 1977 and 1987 has been unsteady.



                                                                                     Percent Change

                                                                             1977    1982

                                        1977    1982     1987       ‑82       ‑87

Jefferson County

  Establishments                     21        16         18    ‑33.8   +12.5

Sales (in Millions)               19.1     26.8      18.1     40.3    ‑52.0

West Virginia

  Establishments                 2372    2380     2444       0.3       2.7

Sales (in Millions)           4492.6 6101.2  5935.4     35.8      ‑2.3

Source:  Bureau of the Census, Census of Wholesale Trade, 1972, 1977 and 1982.


The service industry continued to be the largest component of the County's economy in 1987.



                                                                         Percent Change

                                                                             1977    1982

                                        1977    1982     1987       ‑83       ‑87

Jefferson County

  Establishments                     63        95       137     50.8     44.2

Sales (in Millions)               27.2     33.2      44.9     22.1     35.2

West Virginia

  Establishments                 4702    7424     8909     57.9     20.0

Sales (in Millions)             749.2 1759.3  2917.0     34.8     65.8

Source:  Bureau of the Census, Census of Selected Service and Service Industries, 1972, 1977 and 1982.


The percentage growth in services, as indicated in Table 34, has been well below the rate of growth of West Virginia. How­ever, more recently growth in the service industry has been sub­stantial. This may be related to a trend toward a bedroom com­mu­nity economy.


Manufacturing is a sector of the national economy that is not growing as fast as other sectors of the economy such as Ser­vices and Retail Sales. Between 1970 and 1980 Jefferson County signifi­cantly im­proved its state rank in terms of value added in manufac­turing, as can be seen in Table 35.



                            1972                 1982     1987

Jefferson County

  Establishments        26                     21      N/A

Sales (in Millions)  18.3                130.7      N/A

West Virginia

  Establishments    1733                 1662      N/A

Sales (in Millions) 2644.3            4049.2      N/A

Source:  Bureau of Census, Census of Manufacturing.


Table 36 is a list of major employers in Jefferson County and the number of people employed by these firms in 1986 and 1993.



                                                                                     Number of Employees

Company                                                          Product or Service             1986*   1993**

AB&C, Inc.                                                      Order fulfill­ment     N.R.      296

Activ Industries, Inc.                             Shotgun shells            40        22

American Tele/Response                                   Telemarketing                    N.R.      200

Americast                                                         Concrete Products             N.R.        45

Badger‑Powhatan                                             Fire protec­tion Products      285      230

Bavarian Inn                                                      Inn and Restaurant             N.R.        95

Burch Manufacturing                             Industrial Crat­ing                    59        45

Charles Town Races                                         Horse Racing                       450      400

Cliffside Inn                                                           Hotel                             N.R.        85

DALB, Inc.                                                       Silk screened signs                 23        29

Downes Fiberglass, Inc.                                    Construction forms             N.R.        10

Dixie‑Narco, Inc.                                              Cold Drink Dispensers 900   ***

Furniture Corp. of Am.                         Furniture                                50     N.R.

Glen E. Woods Int.                                           Communica­tions                    15          9

Halltown Paperboard Co.                                 Paper Box Board                165      180

Jefferson Asphalt Products Co., Inc.     Asphalt Products                N.R.        25

Jefferson Machine Co.                          Tool & Die Mak­ing                36     N.R.

Jefferson Co Bd of Education                Public Education                 N.R.      750

Jefferson Memorial Hospital                              Hospi­tal                             N.R.      256

Mid‑Atlantic Retreading, Inc.                Off‑road Tire Retreading    N.R.        18

Millville Quarry, Inc.                                          Agricultural and Crushed Limestone   60        80

3M                                                       Printing Products                  290      290

Peoples Supply, Inc.                                         Grain Mill                              34        45

Perkins Enterprises                                            Cosmetic Lotions                   38     N.R.

Ranson Fruit Company                         Fruit Process­ing       120     N.R.

Royal Vendors, Inc.                                          Cold Drink Dispensers N.R. 400

Shenandoah Quarry, Inc.                                   Limestone                              45     N.R.

Summit Point Raceway                         Automobile Racing             N.R.        35

TST Impresso                                                   Computer Business Forms     27        45

Universal Wood Products                                 Wood Prod­ucts     N.R.        51

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture                                   Fruit Re­search                     101        85

U.S. Dept. of Interior                                        Training Cen­ter      N.R.      275

Valley Block Company                         Concrete Pipes          35          6

Jefferson County Govt.                         Government                       N.R.        84

National Fisheries                                              Re­search                            N.R.        53

Shepherd College                                              Educa­tion                           N.R.      365


*Source:  1986 Comprehensive Plan

**Source:  Jefferson County Development Authority

***Company relocated out of the county

N.R. = Not Reported




History, culture, and rural beauty combine to make Jeffer­son County an attractive area for travel and tourism. the area's close proximity to major popu­lation centers (Baltimore and Wash­ington D.C. metropolitan areas) enhances this potential. Many people from these areas come to Jefferson County to escape the urban environ­ment and to enjoy the scenic rural nature of the County. In most cases, though, the visits are one day trips to Harp­ers Fer­ry, the race­track or to the Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festi­val. The tourist industry in the County could be greatly improved by develop­ing facilities for weekend long or week long visitors. Resort and pleasure hotels would provide accommodations for visitors and keep tourists here for longer periods of time. In this way more tourist dollars would be spent in the county and with facili­ties such as indoor pools or hot tubs, the tourist attraction could be year round. The large in­vest­ments in vacation homes by city dwellers illustrates this get‑away attitude.


Tourist facilities in the area offer a variety of recreational activi­ties, in­cluding the following major attractions:


CHARLES TOWN RACES ‑ Thoroughbred horse racing is con­ducted at the Charles Town Race Track. This is one of the most mod­ern tracks in the country featuring fully weatherized grand­stands and an advanced pari‑mutuel betting system. It em­ploys approxi­mate­ly 400 people, and its presence promotes the develop­ment of thoroughbred horse breeding and related equip­ment and supply businesses locally.


HARPERS FERRY NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK ‑ This picturesque town, established as a National Historic Park in 1944, is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. It attracts approxi­mately 500,000 per year who come to relive history and enjoy the scenic beauty of the location. The town grew to prominence in the 19th century with the establish­ment of the national armory and the construc­tion of the C & O Canal and B & O Railroad. John Brown's raid in 1859 fore­shadowed the prominence of the town during the civil war. With the destruction of the town during the civil war followed by repeated flooding, the town declined until it be­came a park.


MOUNTAIN HERITAGE ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL ‑ Twice a year, the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce spon­sors the Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festi­val. For three days in June and September, over 160 craftsmen, se­lected for the high quality of their products, gather to demon­strate their skills and sell their goods. The Festival has grown through the years to become one of the most presti­gious festi­vals of its kind on the east coast.


NATIONAL FISHERIES CENTER ‑ The U. S. Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service operates the National Fish­eries Center, a fish hatchery, research laboratory and train­ing center, on Route 1 at Leetown. It receives about 13,800 visitors per year.


SUMMIT POINT RACEWAY ‑ The Summit Point Raceway located on Route 13 south of summit Point, features motorcy­cle road racing, motorcross, and Sports Car Club of America auto road racing. The track has a seasonal daily average atten­dance of 2,000.


WHITE WATER RAFTING ‑ White water rafting trips on the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers are provided by several West Virginia licensed white water river outfitters.


THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL ‑ This trail, which runs from Maine to Georgia, enters the county at Harpers Ferry and runs southward along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountain until it enters Virginia.


In addition to these major attractions, Jefferson County is rich in history with many sites of interest to tourists. For exam­ple, the Jeffer­son County Court House, erected in 1803, is best known as the building in which John Brown and members of his band were tried and sentenced for treason in 1859. The county also contains seven "Washington Homes" which were built be­tween 1770 and 1820 by descendents of George Washington and his brother Charles Washing­ton. Another attraction is the James Rumsey Monu­ment, memorial­izing the first successful operation of a steamboat in 1787. Finally, Shepherdstown, the oldest town in West Virginia, and Middleway are registered districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places along with 38 other build­ings and sites in the county.


The outlook for the County's travel industry is very good. Em­ploy­ment, sales, and tax revenues generated by travel and tour­ism have increased to the point where they make a significant con­tribution to the economy. In 1982, sales resulting from travel and tourism in Jefferson County amounted to 34.5 million. The expec­ta­tion is that the travel industry market will continue to expand.




The County has several major advantages for economic growth and development. The principal one of these is its location. A ma­jor segment of the U. S. population is within one day's driving distance and within 300 miles are a number of major metropolitan areas including Washington‑Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and, to the south, Richmond, VA. and Ra­leigh, NC. How­ever, this same advantage is shared by neighboring loca­tions such as Hagerstown and Frederick, MD, Loudoun Coun­ty, VA. and even Berkeley County, WV, but with the additional advan­tage of having interstate or 4‑lane highways for better access. In fact, industrial expansion along Interstate 81 and 70 and along Route 7 has been quite rapid in recent years. Major projects such as Citi­corp and Xerox may provide jobs to Jefferson County resi­dents but do not provide direct revenue to the County since they are located out of state.


Lack of road improvements has been cited previously as a re­straint on growth of business in the County. However, the Charles Town Bypass is complete and major improvements to Route 9 and the Shenandoah River Bridge (Route 340) are all programmed. Com­pletion of these projects is expected during the late 1990's. The completions can be viewed as being positive factors for eco­nomic growth.


Rail access to the county is very good with a CSX line running from Harpers Ferry west through the county and with the Norfolk and Southern line running north‑south through the county connect­ing Hagerstown, MD. with Front Royal, VA. These are both main lines. There is also a CSX branch line running from Harpers Ferry to Winchester, VA.


Air transportation of cargo is available through the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport located in Martinsburg. Access to the airport will be enhanced by the improvements of WV Route 9.


Another advantage for economic growth is the availability of in­dustrial sites. These break down into two groups, (1) industri­al sites with basic infrastructure and (2) lands zoned for industrial, light industrial and commercial uses. The County, unlike much of West Virginia, has gently sloped land suitable for industrial devel­op­ment.


Table 37 contains a list of industrial sites for lease or sale that currently have public water and sewer and access to a major high­way.



                                       Overall                Number of Lots            Infra-

                                                      Parcel         Pre-         Ulti-                structure*

Name of Property                                 Size (acres)     sent        mate                Complet­ed

Bardane Industrial Park                     80      2**  SoldOut               1, 2, 3

Burr Industrial Park                         300        40         67               1, 2, 3

James Burr Technology Ctr               72        13         39               1, 2, 3

*Infrastructure Codes ‑‑

1 = Public or Private Water

2 = Public or Private Sewer

3 = Access to Primary Highway

4 = Railroad


Table 38 is a list of selected property that are zoned for indus­tri­al or light industrial uses but which have not been devel­oped.



                                                                                                  Adjoining or

                                    Frontage              Parcel                         Confronting

Name of Property                         Road                   Size                         Infrastructure

Hunt Field                                U.S.rt340           500ac.                         Sewer&Water  within one mile,4

Old J & L Quarry                     U.S.rt340            300ac                                   3

Martin Marietta Quarry             U.S.rt340            400ac                               3, 4

J. P. Burns                                U.S.rt340            500ac                                   3

Huyett Property                        U.S.rt340            100ac                               3, 4

Capriotti                                   U.S.rt340              90ac                                   3

Capriotti                                   W.V.rt9                 40ac                           1, 2, 3


The total acreage of property zoned for industrial and commer­cial uses is shown in Table 39.



                                                                                                      % of

Zoning                                                                  Acres                 Total

District                                                              in District               Land

"Heavy" Industrial and Commercial                                    3,000                   2.2

Mixed‑‑Residential, Light Industrial, Commercial               3,200                   2.3


The Jefferson County Zoning System, the Land Evaluation and Site Assessment (LESA) system, provides for the issuance of Condi­tional Use Permits for industrial uses to properties outside of these zoning districts if the LESA process shows that the prop­er­ty meets the criteria of the system. The number of acres of prop­erty which could meet the LESA criteria has not been determined. How­ever, as a general rule, sites in the Rural/Agricultural District with public water and sewer and which are located near primary high­ways proba­bly are going to qualify for industrial/commercial use, assuming that other factors such as buffering, etc. can be met.


There are two organizations in the county promoting economic growth. They are the Jefferson County Development Authority and the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.


The Development Authority was created in 1979 for the pur­poses of the promotion, development and advancement of prosperi­ty and economic welfare and to encourage and assist new busi­ness­es and industry. To this end, they can furnish money through grants, loans and bonds, and assist in arranging for credit and land, as well as other kinds of technical assistance.


The Development Authority has been effective in preparing bro­chures and advertisements in national trade magazines to pro­mote industrial location in the county. It has become the window through which industries can learn about the benefits of establish­ing them­selves in Jefferson County and receive assistance toward that end. The Development Authority, located near the Burr Indus­trial Park, has also been instrumental in developing and promoting the industrial park.


The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce is a private orga­nization of businesses funded through its members. Its objectives are to stimu­late the expansion of business and employment oppor­tu­nities, to promote economic activity and local prosperity. It also serves as a clearing house for information on the County.




The existing economic base of Jefferson County consists of many diverse activities: industry, commercial and ser­vice, tourism and agriculture. From a tax revenue standpoint, it is necessary that these industries grow and develop to offset the tax shortfalls result­ing from years of resi­dential construction with­out correspond­ing growth in the com­mercial and industrial sectors. As the population of the Coun­ty continues to rise, more jobs will be needed to support the labor force, and more businesses provid­ing services will be expect­ed. In order to meet these increasing de­mands, the County's econ­omy must grow.


The business climate is determined by many factors: trans­por­ta­tion, access to markets, labor force (education, wage rate and produc­tivity), quality of life (crime rate, school quality and cultural ameni­ties), planned environment, taxes, infrastructure, etc. Im­prove­ments are required in the areas that are lacking to make Jefferson County more competitive.