Zoning category created for educational facilities

WEIRTON — The Weirton Planning Commission, on Wednesday, agreed to recommend a zoning change for some educational facilities in the city, and looked at the current regulations for driveways in the city after hearing concerns from residents in one neighborhood.

The commission recommended allowing the business classification of community center/school/nursery/kindergarten into a C-2 zoning district.

Planning and Development Director Mark A. Miller explained the city has received some calls from people interested in opening such operations, but they were unable because of current regulations.

“They were out in the Penco Road and Three Springs Drive area,” Miller said.

Currently, the business classification is limited only to C-3 zoning districts, which Miller noted is only located along Main Street.

“Whether we like it or not, everything is moving from Main Street out,” Miller said.

The commission voted 5-0 to recommend the request to Weirton Council, which then must approve it to go into effect.

The commission also was asked for its interpretation of section 15.8.2 of the city’s Unified Development Ordinance, which deals with driveway regulations.

Miller said there were conflicting regulations in the section, which would need to be clarified.

“It looks as if there was some cutting and pasting at some point,” Miller said.

In particular, it was unclear as to whether residences were permitted to have one driveway, or two.

Four residents of the Morgan Drive area were in attendance Wednesday, noting concerns about the number of parking spaces, through the construction of a second driveway, were being created for a four-apartment residence in the neighborhood.

Also of concern was the safety of the area, with one resident citing the discovery of bottles, used cigarettes and needles.

Chuck Robinson, who serves as the commission’s chair but spoke as a resident, said any project needs to meet city regulations, and suggested officials check on the project in question.

“It has to meet certain criteria,” Robinson said.

The commission said, for the time being, they would use section E of the regulation, which states “Single family residential development shall be limited to one (1) driveway for each lot; two family residential development may be permitted to have two (2) driveways where the lot has a front lot line at least ninety (90) feet in width; and multi family residential developments with more than forty (40) dwelling units shall be required to have two (2) driveways for dual access.”

Miller noted the issue would be included in those under review as part of efforts to update the UDO.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)