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Appeals court clears legal uncertainty for Hill Top

By Erik Anderson, Spirit of Jefferson

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. — A special state tourism development district that enables the Hill Top House Hotel project to proceed outside the control of the town of Harpers Ferry’s zoning process survived another major and final legal challenge this month, clearing the way for SWaN Investors to remain steady on their path to breaking ground on the resort rebuild. 

On May 13, the Intermediate Court of Appeals of West Virginia unanimously rejected an appeal to a decision made by the Circuit Court of Kanawha County, which found that the state’s Tourism Development District Act (TDD) of 2020 does not violate the West Virginia Constitution.

Sponsored by Sen. Patricia Rucker (R-Jefferson), the act authorizes the West Virginia Department of Economic Development to designate special tourism districts for projects with a minimum investment of $25 million. The department can put the districts in up to five towns with populations of less than 2,000 residents. 

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