PARKERSBURG - Parkersburg City Council members unanimously approved the proposed rezoning of a 24th Street property, clearing one hurdle for a proposed 100-unit hotel.
Council, with little discussion, voted 7-0 to approve the first reading of an ordinance to rezone 925 24th St. to a B-2 designation. The final reading will be held at an upcoming council meeting.
The move helps clear the way for MPH Hotels to proceed with the proposed development of a 100-unit hotel on the site of the Henry Logan Children's Home property.
Photo by Jody Murphy
Council members Nancy Wilcox, from left, Sharon Lynch, Brad Kimes and Jim Reed talk following Tuesday night’s meeting.
Councilmember John Rockhold, whose district includes the area, said both the city and its residents will receive "maximum benefit" from the development of the site.
"Building the hotel allows us to have redevelopment," Rockhold said during discussion of the ordinance, referring to the city's master plan and noting the site should maximize development.
Rockhold was the only council member to speak during the discussion. A few residents from the area attended Tuesday's meeting, but only Sharon Kesselring, a 25th Street resident, spoke.
"I applaud commercial progress," she said. "But when it it's next door to you there are some concerns."
Kesselring was concerned about possible environmental and traffic issues with the project. She worried the hotel would bring additional traffic to the area.
"There is no entrance to the hotel from 24th Street," Rockhold said.
Project schematics cite ingress and egress to the hotel coming off Emerson Avenue. Plans for the property feature a three-story hotel with privacy fence, landscape buffer and additional retaining walls.
In other business, Parkersburg Homecoming Festival president Randall Roberts spoke to council and expressed thanks to the city for its support, noting Homecoming had about $8,000 left to start work on next year's event. He asked council to consider funding for the event in its 2013-2014 budget. He also introduced the Homecoming Committee's incoming president, Cindy Wade. Roberts has served as president of the event for the past four years.
"We all agree Homecoming has come a long way the last few years," Council President Tom Joyce said.
Council also approved the reappointments of Charlie Matthews, Seldon Wigal and Francis Angelos to the Municipal Planning Commission and the appointments of Eric Gumm and Luke Peters to the commission. Gumm had previously served for several years on the commission before stepping down last year.
Councilmembers John Sandy and Mike Reynolds were absent. Council-elect members Roger Brown, JR Carpenter and John Kelly were present.