Lovettsville Planning Commission Chairman Bea McClain, who has served in several capacities on the commission since 1967, resigned last week. McClain has been in the forefront of the struggle between those who want to retain a zoning map that was drawn up in 1979 and those who say it was never legally approved and want to draw up a new map based on property rezonings

"I'm glad to have the burden off my shoulders," said McClain. "I wanted to hang in there till it was over but it was starting to affect my health." McClain, whose resignation is effective immediately, said she believes the map that was drawn eight years ago when the town's comprehensive plan was adopted is "legal and proper."

Mayor J.R. Hummer and several town council members say they have consulted with former town officials and the town attorney and have been advised that the map was not formally adopted when the comprehensive plan was approved. Said Hummer: "I've been advised to start from scratch and that is what we're doing."

The town council and the planning commission have been holding work sessions on the map all summer and, according to Hummer, the council will vote on it at a meeting later this month. "To think that it might soon be over is unbelievable," Hummer said. The controversy has been dividing the town since January, when the mayor asked residents to send rezoning requests to an ad hoc committee appointed to draw a new map.