MSS: West Virginia, Kentucky officials repeatedly ignored plans to prepare for catastrophic floods. Residents are paying the price.

My Buckhannon 9-11-22 Alexa Beyer, Mountain State Spotlight

When four and a half feet of water engulfed the town of Fleming-Neon, Kentucky, in July, fire chief Carter Bevins found himself in an unfamiliar position.

“We were helpless,” he said.

The volunteer firehouse, which sits on a small road directly in front of Wright Fork creek, was surrounded by a chest-high wall of water. The phone rang again and again, with residents begging for help. But Bevins and his team couldn’t open the door. All the firefighters could suggest to panicked residents was that they get as high as they could.

“We try to take any situation and neutralize it, make it for the better. How you gonna do that when you can’t even get out of your own building?” Bevins asked.

Fleming-Neon wasn’t the only community to find itself in this position: With vast portions of eastern Kentucky still reeling from the July flooding that ruined thousands of buildings, displaced hundreds and killed 39 people, elected officials are focusing on disaster response. The same is true right across the border in West Virginia, where catastrophic flooding has become a regular occurrence for people in communities from McDowell to Kanawha.

But for years, officials have ignored their own, completed plans for how to prevent these kinds of disasters from happening in the first place. West Virginia has had a comprehensive flood mitigation plan on the books since 2004, though officials have taken little concrete action to implement it. And in Kentucky, extensive regional plans spell out how communities could decrease the potential for flood damage.

In these cases, planning and taking action haven’t gone hand-in-hand.

Climate change is shaping the floods, the evacuations, the response

The topography and residential patterns of eastern Kentucky and West Virginia naturally lend themselves to flooding. In these mountainous areas, where most people live on narrow strips of land next to creeks and surrounded by mountains, water runs down the mountains and overflows small tributaries.

But the past decades of logging and coal mining have made these flooding events worse, by stripping surface areas of their ability to absorb the water. And as the climate changes, major flooding events will happen even more frequently.

Climate change makes the region more prone to sudden, intense storms that drop a lot of rain, as an increase in atmospheric temperature increases the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, making precipitation, and in particular flooding, more likely.

Marshall University professor and State Climatologist Kevin Law says he’s seen an increase in precipitation in West Virginia and much of the region since he began his role in 2008.

Part of a state climatologist’s job is to use this data to predict future climate trends.

But Law says that global warming is also making floods like the recent one in eastern Kentucky harder to pinpoint in advance. Due to temperature-driven changes in the jet stream, which steers storms, there have been more “training” events in the region: where very narrow yet intense storms line up like cars on a railroad track and follow each other.

These storms are so narrow that it’s difficult for climatologists to accurately predict where they’re going to turn up until they actually happen, as if they were tornadoes, Law says.

“You can kind of get an idea if it’s going to happen in Kentucky, but precisely where you just don’t know until you start to see that line up on the radar, and then you can put out the warning but oftentimes then it can be too late,” he said.

The increased frequency and severity of storms means that Kentuckians and West Virginians are facing more potential damage on a regular basis. That makes infrastructure projects like dams and floodwalls, as well as levees, updates to buildings, and emergency notification systems all the more important.

In West Virginia, after 20 years, plan is still a work in progress

West Virginia is very familiar with the type of planning required to protect residents from the worst impacts of floods. In 2004, a 20-agency task force produced a 365-page Statewide Flood Protection Plan, the result of generous federal and state contributions and four years of work. The plan was loaded with actionable suggestions on floodplain and wastewater management, ordinance enforcement, better flood warning systems, improved building codes, and a tougher approach to resource extraction. Yet it was never implemented by any of the state agencies that would have had jurisdiction over parts of the plan.

Here, the effects of this more frequent flooding were most recently obvious in 2016, when a catastrophic flood damaged or destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, and killed 23 people.

Weeks later, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported how the state had taken no action on the earlier plan. The following year, the state Legislature established a joint Flood Committee and a State Resiliency Office, designed to orchestrate statewide responses to disasters and create a new flood mitigation plan that drew from the work done on the first one.

Five years after the committee and the state office were created to update the state’s mitigation plans, there is nothing in place.

“There’s not, unfortunately, a lot of instant gratification associated with mitigating flood risk,” said Matthew Sanderson, the senior manager of flood-prepared communities for Pew Research Fund. Pew is currently working with the Resiliency Office to develop a new plan. He said that the more frequent and severe flood events that states like West Virginia are seeing mean that nobody is prepared to take flooding on properly.

 

Mon County, municipalities come together to host Comprehensive Plan Fair

Dominion Post 9-9-22 by Ben Conley

You've got to have a plan.

For West Virginia's political subdivisions that's more than good advice—it's the law.

On Thursday evening at WVU's Mountaineer Station, planning personnel from Monongalia County, Morgantown and the WVU College of Law's Land Use Clinic met with the public to answer questions and collect feedback as each works to finalize mandatory 10-year updates to their respective comprehensive plans.

As the name would suggest, the plans are extensive. Going well beyond a simple wish list, a comprehensive plan takes stakeholder and public input and drafts a map that not only identifies where a community wants to go, but the strategies and philosophies behind how it wants to get there.

Or, as Monongalia County Director of Planning Andrew Gast-Bray explained it, "If you don't aim for anything, you tend to get what you aim for."

As an example, Morgantown's 2013 plan highlighted aggressive airport expansion and annual street paving and maintenance as major city priorities. Fast forward 10 years, a $65 million runway extension project is underway and the city just completed its most ambitious summer of paving since implementing a $3 user fee as the funding mechanism in 2016.

For dozens of smaller communities across West Virginia without dedicated planning staff, WVU Law's Land Use Clinic steps in to lend a hand.

Land Use Attorney Jared Anderson said he's in the process of working with Star City on a plan update. His colleague, Christy Demuth, is doing the same for Granville and Westover.

"We're taking public input. We'll probably have an open house for all three of these on their own as well, " he said, noting the clinic also assists with things like zoning, subdividion regulations and dilapidated properties if called upon.

County Planner Patricia Booth said she's spent the last six months or so working on the 187-page draft plan available through the planning commission links at monongaliacounty.gov. She said the goal is to have the plan finalized and adopted in February.

Gast-Bray said bringing everyone together for Thursday's open house makes sense as the plans aren't carried out in a vacuum.

"This is a strength. It helps you craft things in a logical way. West Virginia doesn't have tons of money to throw away, so we have to be thoughtful. Having these things work together helps, " he said, noting it's also helpful for local grant applications when multiple entities can support the need or desire for projects by pointing to priorities laid out in their respective plans.

To that end, Morgantown Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Organization Executive Director Bill Austin was on hand to discuss the projects the MPO has identified as part of a Safe Streets for All grant application.

Those projects, totaling an estimated $30.7 million, including a reconstruction and relocation of Willey Street, an upgrade of pedestrian and bicycle facilities on the High Street /Dorsey Avenue corridor, a multipurpose path along WV 705 from the Mileground to Maple Drive and crosswalk projects in Granville and Star City.

The U.S. Department of Transportation will distribute $5 billion over the next five years as part of that grant program.

West Virginia Association of Counties, County Commissioners Association oppose Amendment 2

WV News 9-8-22 by Charles Young

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WV News) — Two associations representing West Virginia’s elected county officials have announced opposition to Amendment 2.

The boards of the West Virginia Association of Counties and the County Commissioners Association of West Virginia are encouraging voters to reject the proposed amendment during the November general election, according to a press release.

Passage of the amendment would allow the members of the West Virginia Legislature to eliminate property taxes on machinery, equipment and inventory.

The amendment — formally called The West Virginia Authorize Tax Exemptions for Vehicles and Personal Property Used for Business Amendment, also known as Amendment 2 or the Property Tax Modernization Amendment — would authorize the Legislature to be able to change Article X of the state Constitution to exempt tangible personal property used for business activities and the tax on motor vehicles from state property taxes.

The two associations said passage of the amendment would cause the loss of local control “over approximately $550 million of dedicated, constitutionally protected budget revenues, and handing that authority to the West Virginia Legislature.”

While Republican lawmakers have long indicated what they plan to do if the amendment is passed, there is no guarantee what will actually happen because “no certain, agreed-to plan between the House and Senate was presented that dedicates a revenue stream that solely backfills the $550 million to counties ...,” the associations said.

“This is monumental change to West Virginia tax policy, and the impact to local government is significant. And such change demands that everyone — all stakeholders involved — should all support Amendment 2 if a thorough review and comprehensive plan was first developed by all of us before placing Amendment 2 before the voters,” the associations said.

During his press briefing Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice voiced concerns about Amendment 2.

Although he initially thought the amendment had “innocent” implications, he is now opposed to its passage, Justice said.

“We’re taking away an income stream and betting on good times forever and putting at risk our schools, our EMS, our firemen, our police and whatever it may be,” he said. “We have to step back and think about what we are doing.”

The proposed amendment is the result of House Joint Resolution 3, passed during the 2021 legislative session and sponsored by Del. Phil Mallow, R-Marion.

Supporters of the amendment argue it will stimulate economic development and promote business growth, but opponents have said it will eliminate an important source of funding for boards of education, county governments and municipalities.

Kelly Allen, executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, spoke to the issue during a presentation before the Marion County Commission on Wednesday. Allen said county governments would be on the hook for backfilling any funding to local organizations and services impacted by the amendment’s passage.

“Amendment 2 would impact everyone in our community because it affects the funding for public schools and public services like fire departments, police departments, libraries and parks,” Allen said. “We think it’s really important for families to know the direct impact that property taxes have on things like schools and ambulances and how that would impact their families.”

Timbering requests go to Weirton’s Zoning Board

Weirton Daily Times 9-7-22 by Craig Howell

WEIRTON — Three proposals for timbering projects went before the Weirton Zoning Board of Appeals Tuesday, including plans for an area around an ongoing business development along Three Springs Drive.

The zoning board approved, through a 4-0 vote, a request from DeNoon Lumber, on behalf of Three Springs Industrial Park LLC, for a conditional use permit for a timbering project on approximately 165 acres off of Three Springs Drive.

Attorney Carl A. Frankovitch, representing the parties, explained the property is at the far southern end of Three Springs Drive, behind the Wal-Mart Supercenter.

“It used to be owned by Weirton Steel,” Frankovitch said, identifying the area as the former steel manufacturer’s research and development facility.

Three Springs Industrial Park LLC, which incorporated in 2020 by the late Daniel Spanovich, currently is developing the land.

Frankovitch explained the property abuts Three Springs Drive, and the timbering project will see approximately 80 truckloads removed from the property, driven onto Three Springs Drive and then onto U.S. 22.

“It’s going to be very little interruption,” he said of the project, which is anticipated to last eight weeks beginning later this fall.

Representatives of Pietro Fiorentini USA and residents of Thompson Hill, with properties neighboring some of the areas planned for timbering, also were in attendance, expressing concern over possible erosion, the proximity to their properties, and any potential impact on wildlife.

It was noted there are plans for a 40-foot buffer between any neighboring properties and the targeted areas for timbering, that the timbering would involve a select-cut method and be monitored by the West Virginia Division of Forestry.

While the request for the 165 acres was approved, Frankovitch requested a second proposal, for 30 acres off of Thompson Hill Road, be tabled until additional conversations can be held with residents of the area.

Those residents in attendance and the Pietro Fiorentini representatives expressed concern with the second request.

In another timbering-related issue, a request the zoning board tabled during its August meeting was withdrawn, according to city Planning and Development Director Mark Miller.

Trumco Forest Products had applied for a conditional use on property off of North 12th Street on behalf of Margaret Valuska. The request initially appeared before the board in August, but as no one from the timbering company or the property owner was in attendance, the board voted to table the matter.

Miller noted Tuesday he had been in contact with an attorney representing the two parties, and the application was being withdrawn.

Officials celebrate completion of site development for West Virginia AeroTech Park

The State Journal 8-21-22 by Charles Young

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WV News) — Stakeholders of North Central West Virginia Airport recently celebrated the culmination of nearly 20 years of hoping and planning.

Gov. Jim Justice — along with a host of local leaders and officials — participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the completion of site development for the West Virginia AeroTech Park.

“Without any question, always, the airports are the heart; they’re the lifeblood of the engine that makes everything go,” Justice said. “You think of what you’ve got going on here. It is off the chart; it is un-flat-believable what’s going on.”

The AeroTech Park will house the airport’s new terminal building, an expanded taxiway, an enlarged parking lot and will provide ample build-ready land for the continued growth and development of the region’s aerospace industry.

The park’s future site is now flat and level, but just a year ago, the stretch of land adjacent to W.Va. 279 was buried under approximately 3 million square feet of earth that officials called “the mountain.”

Ron Watson, former Harrison County commissioner and former president of the Benedum Airport Authority, which governs the airport, said officials had long hoped to “move the mountain” to clear space for a new terminal building.

“The mountain has always been something that we wanted to get rid of, but we never had the means, and we really didn’t have a good plan,” he said.

“Before we could do the terminal, we had to get rid of the mountain. That was a long time in the making, and I am delighted to see the progress.”

Airport Director Rick Rock, looking out over the crowd assembled for the ribbon cutting ceremony, thanked the public for always supporting the airport.

“One of the finest lessons I learned when I started this job was to get the community to take ownership of it,” he said. “Right here is an example of a community taking ownership of it. I appreciate it — without you none of this is possible.”

The site development project, handled by Wolfe’s Excavating, was seeded by a state-backed investment announced by Justice in August 2019 — a $10 million grant from the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council and a $10 million loan from the state Economic Development Authority.

On July 8, the Federal Aviation Administration announced the airport would receive a $15 million grant, the final element needed to greenlight the terminal’s construction.

Bridgeport Mayor Andy Lang, who sits on the Airport’s Special Projects Committee, said numerous individuals and agencies deserve credit for helping make the project a reality.

“It was a matter of just getting everybody to the table one-by-one — whether that was the (Federal Aviation Administration), the (West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection), the state, the governor’s office, the Development office, just on and on — to realize what this project could do for North Central West Virginia,” he said.

Construction of the terminal building is expected to begin next year, Lang said.

“We should be started on the terminal, digging footers, in the spring,” he said.

The expansion project is estimated to lead to direct contributions of more than $587 million to the state’s economy each year, according to economists at West Virginia University.

The total economic impact of construction expenditures for the airport’s terminal expansion project is estimated to be $88 million, of which more than $55 million will be spent directly, and another $33 will be generated in secondary industries, according to analysis from the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

The terminal expansion project is estimated to employ about 356 construction workers directly, and another 199 in supplier industries, for a total employment impact of 555 jobs.

Growth at the airport is estimated to add an additional $16.7 million in expenditures in the local economy over 10 years. Counting secondary impacts, it’s estimated this spending will result in more than $28.5 million in total economic impact over the same 10-year period.

Expansion on the airport’s campus is expected to allow for the addition of seven to 11 small-to-medium-sized businesses that will either expand or locate in the area, for a total of more than 1,300 new jobs.

The airport is one of the main reasons North Central West Virginia is one of the state’s two primary centers for economic activity, according to WVU’s John Deskins.

 

 

Morgantown plans careful review of firearm ammunition zoning code

WV Metro News 8-20-2022 by Mike Nolting

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Morgantown Planning Commission recently tabled a request from a local group to change where firearms and ammunition can be sold within city limits.

Protect Morgantown opposes the Big Daddy Gun store slated to open on University Avenue at “The Deck” and has asked for some changes to city zoning code for retail firearms locations. The group wants the commission to add a definition for a firearms sales establishment. That definition would be an “establishment engaged in the sale, manufacture for sale, or repair of firearms, ammunition and ammunition components, and hunting and shooting equipment.”

The proposal would allow the businesses in shopping centers, but would require permission to locate in neighborhoods or service/business districts.

In response, Morgantown Director of Developmental Services Rickie Yeager offered two options rather than a recommendation.

The first option adds the word “lease,” the option for customers to lease as well as sell firearms. The first option also removes the words “hunting or shooting equipment.” It also removes the option for conditional use in neighborhoods, but allows the businesses in shopping centers and business districts by conditional use.

The second option includes all of the first option, but adds a straight line “incompatible use separation” of 500-feet from schools, medical centers, parks, libraries, churches, day care facilities, educational institutions and synagogues.

Morgantown deputy mayor and planning commission member Danielle Trumble said members of commission want to tailor zoning code to the current and future needs of the city.

“Staff gave us a lot of information about what other cities like Charleston or Huntington are doing, but we want to make sure we’re doing something that makes sense for Morgantown, not just following the lead of other municipalities.”

According to Trumble, the commission plans deep dive into how many gun stores are operating in the city, and for how long. Understanding that information will help them understand how neighborhoods where the stores have existed together.

“Take a look at what zones firearms establishments are already operating in,” Trumble said. “How many, which ones are close to schools or which ones would be effected by any changes we would make.”

While the group proposing the changes used the location on University Avenue and some statistics from recent mass shootings, the argument against was heavily weighted on marketing tactics, imagery and media appearances by the owners of Big Daddy Guns.

The commission wants to ensure changes are fair, reasonable, well thought out and durable enough to serve the community long term.

“I’m sure everyone on the planning commission and everyone on council has their own personal feelings about this establishment,” Trumble said. “But at the end of the day, if they are a legally operating business there’s nothing we can do about that. We can only change things moving forward.”

There is no timetable for the review of information about existing zoning code and retail locations, but Trumble said there will be public comment opportunities.

“At which point maybe we can start talking about what changes would make sense or what kind of regulations would make sense,” Trumble said.

Others that make up the nine member board also want more time, information and public input before voting any proposed change.

“I want to stop and think proactively about where we want our businesses located and what we want our city to look like moving forward,” Trumble said. “And really look toward the future and not what’s currently happening.”

Florida-based Big Daddy Guns still plans to open the 15,000-square foot retail location in the coming weeks.

Brownfield presentation highlights funding for community development

The WV Daily News 8-17-22 by Carolyn Cleaton

LEWISBURG (WVDN) – A presentation on the Region 4 Project of Brownfields Assessment and Remediation was given to the Greenbrier County Commission at their Aug. 9 meeting.

Region 4 Project manager Betsy Morris explained some of the details of this program and what is expected to happen this year.

She said, “We are doing the education and inventory phase right now, and we need to document and show the EPA that we are being diligent and the need is great in our area.”

Submissions of applications need to be done by the second week of September.

This particular grant will cover the identification and listing of properties as well as assessment of each by engineers from Potesta to determine if they are contaminated or polluted.

“The remediation phase will be much more expensive and will require seeking additional funding,” said Morris.

Properties do not have to be in the flood plain, and clusters of multiple properties that are adjacent to each other will make a big impact on the community if addressed by this program, she said. Nomination of properties can be done online by community members or local government who often owns the abandoned properties.

Of course, asbestos is an important pollutant to be identified, she said, and also abandoned fuel tanks like heating oil, drums, tanks and transformers on properties that are not occupied is an important issue.

“A good example of a potential Brownfields site is the Pocahontas Tannery,” Morris said of the Marlinton property.

“Three, four or five years down the road we expect to be able to show great progress,” said Morris.

She also said, “Twenty-five sites are already in the system, but we would like to double that number.”

The Biden administration’s commitment to lifting up and protecting overburdened communities across America spurred this program through the EPA forward, and in 2021 there were three Greenbrier County properties that were granted $300,000: Black Diamond Mining coal landing in Sam Black Church, the Drennen/Grant retail properties in former East Rainelle, and Mulligan Lumber sawmill in Ronceverte.

A concerted effort to identify properties is needed before additional funds from the EPA can be obtained.

“Remediation will not be covered by this grant,” said Morris. “This grant is for identification and inspection to locate contaminants.”

The online questionnaire is easy to complete with drop-down boxes to check off property qualifiers. A GIS map will be created from these applications to geographically identify each site, the owners, the former owners and former uses of the property. This is the Phase One called Survey 123 and can be accessed by https://arcg.is/1m8GuT0.

In Phase Two the inspection of each property will be done by engineers of Potesta in Charleston and they will complete the title search and site assessment to either identify contaminants or identify the property as free of contaminants.

Public meetings are going to be scheduled to offer encouragement to area residents to help finding these properties. A full presentation like the one given at the county commission meeting that can be requested to be shown to groups and clubs.

The 2022 West Virginia Brownfields Conference will be held at Marshall University in Huntington on Sept. 13-15. Online registration will provide a link to attend virtually as well as in person at www.wvbrownfields.org.

Region 4 Planning and Development Council is the organization responsible for administration of this EPA funding, and their website is https://reg4wv.org.

Cleanup begins after flooding in Fayette County, WV

West Virginia News 8-16-22 by Amanda Barber, Lane Ball

FAYETTE COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK) — Fayette County was hit hard by flooding on Monday.

Lane Ball, a reporter with WFXR’s sister station, WOWK, went to the area to talk with residents about what they experienced.

Community members in the Fayette County town of Smithers have rushed to support each other during this time.

Locals say the water came up higher than usual, and several people had to be water rescued.

The West Virginia Division of Highways says this area suffered significant shoulder washouts and two partial road washouts.

The water also damaged a small bridge, making it difficult for neighbors to get across.

While the cleanup efforts continue, volunteers at a local temporary shelter tried to get supplies out as soon as possible. Supplies were available for pickup until 8 p.m. on Monday.

Crews are working to remove debris and open drainage systems, and this could take days, according to Smithers Mayor Anne Cavalier. City and county officials are assessing damages and what they will cost to repair.

Curbside flood debris pickup in Kanawha County, WV starting Wednesday

West Virginia News 8-16-22 by Isaac Taylor

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK) — Flood debris pickup will be starting on Wednesday for areas in Kanawha County hit by flooding on Monday.

In a press release, the Kanawha County Commission says they, the Kanawha County Homeland Security, Emergency Management Office and the Kanawha County Planning and Development Office have put together a plan for these impacted areas:

  • Hughes Creek
  • Kelley’s Creek
  • Rutledge Road
  • Campbell’s Creek

Dump trucks will be going through these areas from Wednesday, Aug. 17 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sunday, Aug. 21.

The Commission says people impacted should put debris on the side of the roadway off of any private property.

The Emergency Management office and the Planning Office will go to these areas to complete damage assessments.

If you have damage to your property from the flood, the Commission says to contact the Kanawha County Planning and Development Office at 304-357-0570.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice declared a State of Emergency in Kanawha and Fayette counties after flooding hit the Mountain State.

Justice says in Kanawha, Putnam and Fayette counties that four to six inches of rain fell overnight, flooding several roads.

Morgantown (West Virginia) council denies rezoning requests

The Morgantown News 8-2-22 by William Dean

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WV News) —  Morgantown City Council denied two petitions to change the zoning status to allow increased capacity for a pair of homes at its regular meeting Tuesday night.

There were speakers both for and against the petition during the meeting's public comment portion.

Jasmin Patrick, of Bel-Cross Properties, spoke on behalf of the owners of 815 Price St. and 305 Glendon Ave.

She explained that there are properties that border hers that have the zoning they were seeking, which is R-2. In her opinion, the decision by the planning commission to deny the petition was incorrect. The owner was willing to do whatever it took to make sure things were built safely and in the right way.

The home across the street at 802 Price, also managed by Bel-Cross, is allowed to have four tenants, while 300 Glendon is allowed to have five tenants and is directly across from 305, Patrick said.

“I feel like owners that are coming into this area that yes, there are investment property owners, but it's like WVU’s allowed to do whatever they want, but when we have an owner that's here paying taxes, doing everything that is asked for by them, they get slapped on the wrist a lot of times,” she said. “And I don't think that's fair to our owners.”

Two homeowners in the area spoke against the rezoning request.

Don Elfenbein said it seems to him and his wife that the kind of request being made by the owners was an attempt to circumvent exactly the kind of thing the zoning ordinance was designed to prevent – the introduction of more high density units in single-family zoning areas.

Deputy Mayor Danielle Trumble, the council's seat on the planning commission, said, “Many, many neighbors came to our meeting to oppose the request.”

The commission referenced both the 2013 comprehensive land use plan and current zoning regulations but ultimately decided that zoning trumped the land use plan, Trumble said.

“The land use in that area has changed slightly with the movement of WVU into other areas of town in the redevelopment,” she said. “We did not indicate that we were entirely against possibly rezoning that area. But we wanted to see it done block by block not parcel by parcel.”

Bill Kawecki, council member, asked if rezoning was something that was being considered in future comprehensive planning in Morgantown.

He was answered by Rickie Yeager, the city’s director of development. “Can I say that we're specifically looking at that area? I mean, we're looking at everything and looking and seeing what was recommended 10 years ago, in terms of revitalization, … is that still appropriate?” he said.

There was a unanimous vote to deny the zoning changes, but neither Ixya Vega nor Brian Butcher were present.