Panhandle (W.Va.) Grassroots for Democracy

The Panhandle Grassroots for Democracy is working to improve our corner of eastern West Virginia, our state and our nation.

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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Growth vs. Sprawl in the Panhandle

An article appeared in the Washington Post on Monday, April 2 about grassroots efforts in Scrabble, West Virginia to limit and shape development in the area.

New Approach to Managing Growth

By Elizabeth Williamson

Last summer, when his cousin's farm went up for sale, Jim Staley walked down Scrabble Road and told his neighbors what they already knew: Because the farm was only an hour-and-a-half drive from Washington, any buyer would likely want to plant houses, a lot of them, on the land.

To view the entire article, go to

The residents of Scrabble got together and bid on the property, which they nearly were able to acquire:

The goal wasn't to keep the farm, but to build housing that protected the area's environmental assets and respected Scrabble's antebellum history.

This effort fell short because of lack of funds, and it looks like the farm will be developed. But the article raises a number of issues relevant to the Grassroots group. First, the issue of sprawl vs. smart growth is going to be a key one- it already is, really. Second, the article demonstrates the importance and power of grassroots activism in the area. As an adviser to the Scrabble group noted, "This area is at the cusp of a very critical time, and there's incredible talent here."

That pretty much says it all.


At Saturday, April 09, 2005 7:09:00 PM, Blogger Carnacki said...

Good post Keith.

At Sunday, April 10, 2005 12:27:00 PM, Blogger John C. said...

Great Post Keith, I met a couple of the Scrabble Rabble at a meeting with the Concerned Citizens of BC group last thurs. and they impressed me in their knowledge and enthusiasm, we also tried to recruit them to our group.
I'm at a loss to remember their names at this writing but I will review my notes to see if they are listed. We had five members of our group present at that meeting and made quite an impact with the republicans in the group.

At Sunday, April 10, 2005 7:02:00 PM, Blogger Carnacki said...

Did the Republicans seem "persuadable?"

At some point, they've got to realize their party isn't their party anymore and is not representing their interests.

At Sunday, April 10, 2005 8:33:00 PM, Blogger John C. said...

Persuadable, I'm not sure about that since they were from the Developer side of the equation and fancied to be one of the good guys in the developer world, whatever that is. I hope they turn out to be fair-minded and not intimidated or agenda-driven(to weaken the subdiv. regs)


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