In The News
Lewisburg Planning Commission to hold works session July 6
LEWISBURG, W.Va. (WVDN) – The Lewisburg Planning Commission has scheduled a working session for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 6, at 942 Washington Street W.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the session will also be available via teleconference. Those interested in participating via Zoom should contact Lewisburg City Hall by 4 p.m. on the day of the meeting for information on how to join.
The agenda includes a call to order and a discussion on potential modifications to the Lewisburg zoning ordinances. The meeting will adjourn following the discussion.
The next regularly scheduled Planning Commission Meeting is set for Thursday, August 3, 2023. The deadline for agenda items for that meeting is noon, Tuesday, July 11.
Lewisburg Planning Commission to hold public hearing on Thursday, July 6
LEWISBURG, W.Va. (WVDN) – The Lewisburg Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Thursday, July 6, at 7 p.m. The hearing will take place at 942 Washington Street W. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the hearing will also be accessible via teleconference. To obtain information on how to participate on ZOOM, contact Lewisburg City Hall by 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 6.
During the public hearing, the Planning Commission will review and approve the minutes from the previous meeting held on June 1, 2023.
Members of the public are invited to provide comments and feedback during the public hearing. This is an opportunity for residents and stakeholders to voice their opinions and concerns regarding matters within the jurisdiction of the Planning Commission.
The main agenda item for the public hearing is the consideration of a minor subdivision by Kahsyne LLC. The subdivision, identified as Map 19, Parcel 125, will be discussed and evaluated by the Planning Commission.
Following the public comments, members of the Planning Commission will have the opportunity to share their thoughts and perspectives on the matters discussed during the hearing. The Planning and Zoning Officer will provide their professional insights and recommendations during the public hearing.
Once all agenda items have been addressed and discussed, the public hearing will be adjourned.
The next regularly scheduled Planning Commission Meeting will be held on Thursday, August 3. The deadline for submissions and proposals for this meeting is noon on July 11.
Greenbrier County Commission awards arts and rec funds, approves new flood plain map
WVDN.com 06-19-2023 by Carolyn Cleaton
LEWISBURG, W.Va. (WVDN) – The Greenbrier County Commission held its regular meeting on June 13 where several important matters were discussed, and decisions were made.
The meeting began with the announcement of the final totals for the 2023-24 Arts and Recreation Grant program. A total of $558,700.89 was requested from the total applications, but only $346,302.95 was approved. This amount was over $200,000 less than what was initially applied for. Some applications required additional details or amendments to qualify, and those applicants have been contacted and given an opportunity for approval. The potential approvals amount to $19,865.
In other news, Adam Whanger Contracting was selected to carry out the repairs to the exterior of the home confinement offices. The bid of $7,920 was approved and accepted by the Commission.
The city of White Sulphur Springs applied for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds for two projects: the Route 60 East sewer project and the painting of the Mapledale tank. Both projects were approved by the Commission, indicating a commitment to the development and improvement of the city’s infrastructure.
The Greenbrier County Planning Commission submitted proposed amendments to the comprehensive plan. After fulfilling all the requirements of publication and public hearings, the Commission finalized the plan.
The County Commission voted to accept the amended comprehensive plan for the county, demonstrating their dedication to long-term planning and development.
Additionally, the election and release form in the opioid litigation settlement for Amnea and Mylan Pharmaceuticals was accepted for signing by the Commission, marking progress in addressing the opioid crisis.
The second reading of the updated Greenbrier County Flood Plain Ordinance took place during the meeting. The purpose of this update was to align the language with FEMA regulations. After no comments were received, the Commission voted to approve the ordinance.
It is important to note that new FEMA maps will be available and will go into effect on July 5. Property owners whose properties are now part of the flood plain will receive notices of changes at the addresses on file in the clerk’s office. If a citizen’s property is affected, they are encouraged to visit the Commission to obtain information about the necessary changes to qualify for flood insurance.
Birds, bees set to occupy Fairmont Planning Commission agenda
Times West Virginian 06-03-2023 by David Kirk
FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Planning Commission is set to consider to highly requested items later this month.
At its June 21 meeting, the commission will review the guidelines, restrictions and parameters for raising chickens and keeping bees within city limits.
The ordinance to keep chicken has been requested for several years and actually made it to the planning commission in 2021 but was voted down and not sent to the Fairmont City Council for reasons within the ordinance’s writing.
The current law governing raising chickens is very old and outdated. If a Fairmont resident wants to raise chickens on their property, the city code says the residents has to file with the Board of Adjustments, which no longer exists.
It was replaced with the Board of Zoning Appeals, which has a different scope of power. Chickens are considered a nuisance according to code and would require an exception the Board of Zoning Appeals does not have the authority to grant.
The proposed new code is still being fine-tuned by the city’s planning department, but Planning Director Shae Strait offered some insight into some things it will cover.
Things like a minimum square-footage per chicken, a capped number of chickens as well as a prohibition of owning roosters are aspects residents can expect to see in the proposal.
“We want to make sure this is as unobtrusive as possible and falls in line with our comprehensive plan,” Strait said. “We’re looking at a reasonable set of standards that will reduce the chance of someone with backyard chickens having a negative impact on their neighbors or themselves.”
The second and more straightforward proposal is to adopt a codified set of guidelines regarding beekeeping within city limits.
As it stands, residents are allowed to keep bees in the city and the city enforces the West Virginia Department of Agriculture’s guidelines for keeping apiaries.
This has caused some confusion as there are no enshrined guidelines on the city level, which often leads to questions about keeping bees in the city. The city is proposing to adopt the West Virginia Department of Agriculture’s regulations to clarify the city’s rules for any budding beekeepers.
Many of the guidelines that are already enforced have to do with keeping apiaries away from property lines, types of screenings as well as basic care requirements for the bees.
The Marion County Beekeepers Association often helps residents who are interested in keeping bees navigate the rules and regulations surrounding the practice. The association’s president, Charlie Chipps, said that the city adopting these rules at the local level will help relieve confusion, but the most important thing when it comes to bees is education.
“They classify honeybees as bees, and that means people are afraid of them because they bite, and they do. I’ve worked with [bees] for about 50 years and I get stung once in a while working with them,” Chipps said. “But they do a lot of good as pollinators and I could put a few boxes of bees right in a neighborhood and no one would know they were there.
“We have a Beekeeping school every year where we try to teach folks the best practices for keeping bees and how to do good by themselves and their neighbors.”
For more information about the Marion County Beekeepers Association, visitwww.mcbawv.com.
The Fairmont Planning Commission’s meeting is scheduled for June 21 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers in the Public Safety Building at 500 Quincy St. The meeting is open to the public.
Wheeling Planning Commission OKs DiCarlo Building Proposal
The Intelligencer (Wheeling News-Register) 05-9-2023 by Eric Ayers
Members of the Wheeling Planning Commission on Monday night gave site plan approval for the newly proposed DiCarlo Building, which is expected to be constructed on Main Street over the course of the next year.
Toni DiCarlo, owner of popular local hometown pizza chain DiCarlo’s Pizza, appeared before members of the Wheeling Planning Commission on Monday evening along with veteran Pittsburgh-area developer Tom Janidas, who provided a presentation about the proposed project during a site plan review. The project is being proposed by DiCarlo’s company R.J. CAT Corporation of Wheeling and developed by Janidas’ Medco Commercial Management Group Inc. of Mars, Pa.
Although the site at 1115 Main St. is currently an empty lot, plans for a new condominium building to be constructed from the ground up in downtown Wheeling created a buzz around town earlier this year. A veteran restaurateur, DiCarlo said the condo business is a new venture for her.
In February, a number of the housing units planned for the building had already hit the market and had been sold or were listed as “sale pending,” DiCarlo said. Original plans had called for a four-story building, but the project has since grown.
“From the original documents we had, we’re planning on putting an additional two units on the building,” Janidas said.
The new five-story building is expected to have a lower basement level adjacent to a 16-space parking lot in the rear of the structure facing Water Street in a prime location — overlooking the Ohio River and Heritage Port. The first floor will be street-level in the front on the side facing Main Street, where two retail spaces will be created.
On Monday, DiCarlo confirmed that she planned to relocate the downtown Wheeling DiCarlo’s Pizza location there once the new building is completed. The current downtown DiCarlo’s location operates in a rented space one block south of the lot where the new building is planned.
Janidas indicated that the two retail spaces on the street level of the new building will include the downtown DiCarlo’s and another restaurant-style shop.
“The first floor will have two commercial spaces — one will be the pizza shop, and we have somebody actually almost pretty sure they’re going to be moving into the other side,” he said. “So there will be two kinds of restaurants on the first level — the street level. The rest will be residential housing.”
There will be an elevator in the structure, and although the downtown is exempt from the parking space requirement that is imposed in other areas of town, plans for the new building call for several spaces in the rear — including one ADA space.
Janidas said core drilling and other preliminary work at the site has already been completed. He noted that they want to get started on construction as soon as possible, adding that construction is expected to take about a year.
“It’ll be a nice addition to the downtown,” Planning Commissioner Howard Monroe said.
Members of the Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the site plan for the DiCarlo’s Building.
Greenbrier County Planning Commission to hold special meeting regarding proposed mobile home communities
LEWISBURG, W.Va. (WVDN) – The Greenbrier County Planning Commission will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, April 12, at 1 p.m. in the county commission courtroom at the Greenbrier County Courthouse.
Agenda items include review of requests for amendment to the zoning map regarding the following applications:
- Perry Application for amendment to the zoning map to change parcel No. 9-23F-3 (Hillcrest Park Lane) from the Open Space Conservation District to the Forest Recreation District. The amendment is requested to expand the present use of the parcel as a mobile home rental community, which is not permitted in the Open Space Conservation District.
- Ballard Application for amendment to the zoning map to change parcel No. 9-23B-29 (3159 Houfnaggle Road) from the Open Space Conservation District to the Forest Recreation District. The amendment is requested to expand the present use of the parcel as a mobile home rental community, which is not permitted in the Open Space Conservation District.
Parkersburg Planning Commission rejects petition for removal from city limits
The Parkersburg News and Sentinel 03-18-2023 by Evan Bevins
PARKERSBURG — The Municipal Planning Commission on Friday rejected an application from a man asking to have his family home removed from Parkersburg’s city limits.
But Dan Vaught said he plans to keep pushing for the change, arguing the property never should have been in the city.
In his application to the commission, Vaught said the annexation was “done against the owners’ will.”
City officials dispute that, saying 2010 Vaught Terrace was part of the annexation of south Parkersburg approved by voters in 1950. Vaught maintains it didn’t happen until around 1980, when another resident had his property annexed into the city.
“My parents really were unhappy when that happened,” he said. “They were never told about it until after it was done.”
City Planner Connor LaVelle said there were no formal complaints on record. He also noted that Vaught’s late parents regularly paid their city fees.
“My parents paid whatever bills came in because that’s the kind of people they were,” Vaught said.
LaVelle said Vaught is delinquent on city fees and has told the Finance Department it’s because “there is a boundary dispute.”
“As long as the property is in the city, fees will be assessed,” LaVelle said.
Vaught told commission members that he receives no benefit from being in the city, other than trash service, and he could use a break on the fees because he is on a fixed income.
Commission member John Reed said Vaught would actually be saving money by remaining in the city because “the county fire fee would be higher than the city fire fee.”
In his application, Vaught noted the lack of a fire hydrant on his road. Fire Chief Jason Matthews said in a memo on the application that fire trucks have water tanks on them and a hydrant on South Lake Drive could provide water in the event that more is needed. A hydrant will be added nearby on Newberry Drive as part of an upcoming water project, he said.
Vaught said he thought the process would be a formality and he had not brought documentation supporting his claims. Assistant City Attorney Rob Tebay asked him to produce it if he could.
The commission voted 7-0, with four members absent, to reject the petition. Tebay told Vaught that would be the end of the matter unless he could get three Parkersburg City Council members to sponsor the item on their agenda.
After the meeting, Vaught said he would work on that and also retain counsel to assist him.
Commission member Luke Peters said he voted against the petition because there was no evidence the property wasn’t annexed legally.
“Even the people that voted against it (in 1950) were still in,” he said.
Tebay said this was the first petition to be removed from the city limits he could recall in his nearly 30 years working for the city.
“We’ve had plenty of annexations, and in that same neighborhood,” he said.