CHARLES TOWN, WV. The City of Ranson failed to provide adequate public notice, as required by statute, when it modified both its zoning ordinance and zoning map to permit heavy industrial uses at Jefferson Orchards. As a matter of law, these zoning changes should therefore be declared void.
This straightforward set of facts is the basis of a new lawsuit by the non-profit organization Jefferson County Vision, which was filed today in circuit court against the City of Ranson.
Jefferson County Vision Board Member Amanda Foxx commented, “There’s a reason everyone in our community was stunned to learn about Rockwool this summer: the change to heavy industry was never the plan for Jefferson Orchard, and the City of Ranson failed to adequately notify the public, as required by law.”
“Within a week of the announcement of the secret Rockwool deal, Ranson was moving to change the zoning at Jefferson Orchard to allow heavy industrial use and block almost all other uses of the property.”
“In 2012, Ranson spent about $100,000 in federal taxpayer grants to rezone Jefferson Orchard into an award winning sustainable community plan. And in 2017 Ranson misused that smart zoning to allow heavy industry and they did it without proper notice. ”
“Now there is clear evidence that Jefferson Orchards was not lawfully rezoned for heavy industry. Rockwool is on notice: they should immediately stop work here and find a new location that is suitable for heavy industry and away from schools, farms, and neighborhoods.”
“We look forward to our day in court to show that the plan to build a giant insulation factory next to an elementary school hinges on failed public notice by the City of Ranson.”