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Parkersburg Municipal Planning Commission votes on requests

Policy change resulted in fewer meetings this year

Photo by Evan Bevins Parkersburg City Planner Sam Tuten answers a question during Friday’s Municipal Planning Commission meeting at the city building.

PARKERSBURG — The Parkersburg Municipal Planning Commission approved a zoning change and tabled a request for the city to abandon an alley during its first meeting of the year Friday.

City Planner Sam Tuten said changes to the commission’s policy manual at the end of 2017 made it so minor subdivisions and mergers of property don’t need to come before the commission if the newly created lots conform to all zoning and land use regulations. Instead, he said, they can be handled administratively, which has happened multiple times this year, lessening the need for the commission to meet monthly.

“When they adjoin it (the property), if that result conforms and it results in no issues, then they’re good to go,” Tuten said.

The commission voted 11-0 Friday, with two members absent, to re-elect Charlie Matthews as president and Eric Gumm as vice president.

The commission also voted 11-0 to approve a request from Dr. Brett Wolfe to rezone a portion of the lot at 1217 Blizzard Drive from residential to business.

Photo by Evan Bevins Dr. Brett Wolfe speaks during Friday’s Municipal Planning Commission meeting, where his request to rezone a portion of property at 1217 Blizzard Drive for a parking lot for his new office was approved 11-0.

A pediatrician, Wolfe is moving his practice there and adding about 750 square feet to the existing building. That will remain in the section already zoned for business, but the expanded parking area would go into the residential portion of the lot, he said.

City Development Director Rickie Yeager, a member of the commission, thanked Wolfe for his investment and rehabilitating a vacant property.

The zoning change will go before Parkersburg City Council for final approval.

In other business, 26th Street resident Carolyn Beckett requested the city abandon an unnamed alley next to her house that provides the only access to her garage. The commission voted 10-1 to table the request until Beckett can secure a signed agreement with neighboring property owners that they will agree to a quitclaim deed relinquishing the portion of the alley they would receive if it was abandoned.

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