Weirton planners discuss UDO changes

WEIRTON – The Weirton Planning Commission is showing its support for proposed changes to the city’s unified development ordinance, as well as a rezoning and a subdivision request following Wednesday’s meeting.

Lauttamus Investments LLC of 337 Penco Road requested an amendment to the UDO which would require sidewalks on both sides of the street in planned development districts, including the Three Springs Drive area. The amendment would not be retroactive, which means sidewalks would not need to be added to previously existing structures. It would mean that all public roads constructed in PDDs in the future would need to have sidewalks, Chief Code Official Rod Rosnick said.

Attorney Eric Frankovitch, who spoke on behalf of Lauttamus Investments, stated sidewalks would make it easier for patrons to access businesses.

“I think it’s better for the community. I mean if you look at Three Springs Drive now, if you want to walk down the street you have to take your life in your hands,” he said.

Commissioners voted to approve the amendment, which will also be examined and voted on at next month’s Weirton City Council meeting.

R. Castelli Inc. of 4224 Freedom Way requested a 38-acre property along Greenbrier Road be rezoned from a single-family residential district to a multi-family residential district. This action could allow for the development of an apartment complex instead of only single-family houses.

Frankovitch also spoke to the commission on behalf of R. Castelli Inc. and elaborated that his clients felt the property would be more marketable if it was considered a multi-family residential district. Commissioners voted to pass the rezoning request, but it also must be approved by city council at its regular meeting in April.

The commission approved a request from Weirton resident Wanda Barkhurst who proposed a subdivision and merger of three parcels of land that she owns. She explained she wanted to do this in order to transfer a section the properties to her daughters without losing a portion of her backyard.

The properties are located along a private roadway off of Pennsylvania Avenue. Rosnick clarified that future development on the parcels would require variances from the Weirton Zoning Board because of public road access requirements.

The request was approved unanimously.

(Dalrymple can be reached at sdalrymple@heraldstaronline.com)