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‑email@example.com so improvements can be made. Editor's notes are in double brackets; these are not part of the adopted plan.]]
JEFFERSON COUNTY COMMISSION
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
JEFFERSON COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION
Scott Coyle, Pres.
H. Richard Flaherty, Past Pres.
Betty Roper, Vice Pres.
Ernest R. Benner, Sec/Treas.
Samuel J. Donley, Jr.
Paul W. Griger
*James G. Knode
Lyle Campbell Tabb, III
Gilbert Page Wright, Jr.
*Representative from the County Commission
PLANNING COMMISSION STAFF
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.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF TABLES
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
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.
This element of the Comprehensive Plan analyzes trends and characteristics of past and current populations and presents projections of future 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.
Table 1 PLACE OF BIRTH AND RESIDENTS FIVE YEARS BEFORE THE CENSUS FOR 1970, 1980 AND 1990
% 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.
Table 2 POPULATION CHANGE FROM 1960 TO 1990 BY JURISDICTION
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
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
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.
Table 3 POPULATION CHANGES BY AGE AND SEX 1970‑1990
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.
Table 4 MARITAL STATUS FOR 1970, 1980 AND 1990 PERSONS 15 YEARS AND OVER
% 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.
Table 5 YEARS OF SCHOOL COMPLETED BY RESIDENTS 25 AND OLDER FOR 1970, 1980 AND 1990
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)
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 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.
Table 7 POPULATION PROJECTIONS
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.
Table 8 POPULATION ‑ HOUSEHOLDS
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
Table 9 PERIODIC CHANGE IN HOUSEHOLDS
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
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
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
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.
Table 11 INCORPORATED AND UNINCORPORATED HOUSING GROWTH
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.
Table 12 TRENDS IN HOUSING OCCUPANCY
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.
Table 13 HOUSING STRUCTURE
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.
Table 14 BUILDING PERMITS
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
Plus Estimated Municipal Permits 1000
Total residential permits ‑‑ 1980‑1992 5052
Source: Jefferson County Planning Commission
The West Virginia Housing Development Fund has evaluated housing costs in the Panhandle. Tables 15, 16, and 17 are taken from their study.
Table 15 MEDIAN VALUE, ALL HOUSING SALES PANHANDLE & SURROUNDING COUNTIES January 1, 1991 ‑ December 31, 1991
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.
Table 16 ESTIMATED VALUES OF SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES JEFFERSON COUNTY
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.
Table 17 MEDIAN VALUE, OWNER‑OCCUPIED UNITS, 1990
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)
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%
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 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.
Table 20 HOUSING NEEDS FOR JEFFERSON COUNTY BASED ON ASSESSMENT OF SUBSTANDARD HOUSING
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.
Table 21 AGE OF YEAR ROUND HOUSING UNITS
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
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.
Table 24 FUTURE HOUSING NEEDS FORECASTS
(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.
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 $3 million from 1982.
Table 25 is a summary of farm statistics for Jefferson County for the years 1974, 1978, 1982 and 1987. These data are taken from the U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. Since 1969 the amount of land in farms and the number of farms have declined by 13.0 and 8.1%, respectively.
Table 25 FARM STATISTICS
1974 1978 1982 1987
Number of Farms 381 370 398 363
Land in Farms (acres) 86642 84985 87648 83079
Percentage in Farms 64 63 65 62
Average Size (acres) 227 230 220 229
Avg. Value Per Farm ($) 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.
Table 26 FARM TENURE
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
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
EMPLOYMENT AND THE LOCAL ECONOMY
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.
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.
Table 27 SEX BY LABOR FORCE STATUS ‑ PERSONS 16 YEARS AND OLDER
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.
Table 28 WORK FORCE MOBILITY
Number of Percentage of
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*)
Other Areas 1434 7058 12.0 40.0
Not Reported 935 247 7.8 1.5
Subtotal 4912 17631 41.2 49.0
*1990 Census Categories
Non‑residents Working in Jefferson County From
Berkeley County 1006
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.
Table 29 AVERAGE ANNUAL WAGE IN JEFFERSON COUNTY INDUSTRIES
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.
Table 30 PERSONS EMPLOYED AGE 16 AND OVER BY OCCUPATION FOR 1970, 1980 AND 1990
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 ** **
283 3.5 320 2.6) 954 5.4
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.
Table 32 RETAIL TRADE ESTABLISHMENTS AND SALES 1977, 1982 AND 1987
1977 1982 1987 ‑82 ‑87
Establishments 134 145 184 8.2 26.9
Sales (in Millions) 53.3 69.9 118.4 31.1 69.4
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.
Table 33 WHOLESALE TRADE ESTABLISHMENTS AND SALES 1977, 1982 and 1987
1977 1982 1987 ‑82 ‑87
Establishments 21 16 18 ‑33.8 +12.5
Sales (in Millions) 19.1 26.8 18.1 40.3 ‑52.0
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.
Table 34 SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS AND SALES 1977, 1982 AND 1987
1977 1982 1987 ‑83 ‑87
Establishments 63 95 137 50.8 44.2
Sales (in Millions) 27.2 33.2 44.9 22.1 35.2
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.
Table 35 MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES-ESTABLISHMENTS AND SALES 1972, 1982 and 1987
1972 1982 1987
Establishments 26 21 N/A
Sales (in Millions) 18.3 130.7 N/A
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.
Table 36 MAJOR EMPLOYERS IN JEFFERSON COUNTY
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.
FUTURE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
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.
Table 37 INDUSTRIAL SITES WITH INFRASTRUCTURE
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.
Table 38 UNDEVELOPED INDUSTRIAL PROPERTIES
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.
Table 39 INDUSTRIAL/COMMERCIAL ZONES
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.