Planners look at future uses of city land

PROJECT UPDATE — Members of the Weirton Planning Commission met with city officials and the planning consultant in charge of updating the city’s Comprehensive Development Plan on Wednesday, receiving an update to the project. Taking part are, from left, Planning Commission Chair Chuck Robinson; city Planning Program Manager Jessica Gumm; Amy Wiles of Mackin Engineering; city Planning and Development Director Mark A. Miller; and Planning Commission member John Porco. -- Craig Howell

PROJECT UPDATE — Members of the Weirton Planning Commission met with city officials and the planning consultant in charge of updating the city’s Comprehensive Development Plan on Wednesday, receiving an update to the project. Taking part are, from left, Planning Commission Chair Chuck Robinson; city Planning Program Manager Jessica Gumm; Amy Wiles of Mackin Engineering; city Planning and Development Director Mark A. Miller; and Planning Commission member John Porco. -- Craig Howell

WEIRTON — Weirton officials are beginning the process of mapping out possible future land uses for properties throughout the city.

The effort is part of the continuing process to update the city’s Comprehensive Development Plan, working with Amy Wiles of Mackin Engineering to plot out the documents which will help guide the future zoning and growth in the city.

Members of the city’s Planning Commission met with Wiles Wednesday for an update on the project, which includes a map of current land uses.

“It gives us a pretty good idea of what’s happening now,” she said.

In the coming months, a proposal for a future land use plan will be created, with input from several local land owners. There also will be plans for focus groups working with area youth and those interested in the arts.

During Wednesday’s meeting, the group broke down the city by sections, discussing current and possible future uses, as well as any assets or obstacles.

For example, it was suggested both Weircrest and Kings Creek Bowl remain residentially zoned, with some also noting areas of Weircrest could still some development.

The group noted, though, the two neighborhoods can sometimes feel as if they were their own communities because of the industrial property located between them and the rest of the city.

“They’re almost disconnected from the city,” Commissioner Nate Mazur noted.

Weirton Heights includes a mix of residential and commercial properties, as well as some areas for growth in both designations, officials noted.

“There are a number of available properties that could be commercial,” Planning Commission Chair Chuck Robinson said.

Among the suggestions made Wednesday was the creation of a mixed use zoning category, to be used in specific areas of the city, and to use the Planned Unit District and Planned Development District zoning as more of an overlay, with other zoning uses allowed in each.

Mark A. Miller, the city’s planning and development director, explained property owners in PUD and PDD areas must present a full plan for any development project they wish to undertake.

“It’s intimidating for someone,” Miller said.

Wiles suggested the possibility of a central business district — located along Main Street between Virginia Avenue and Marland Heights Road.

The possibility of a mixed use/medical district also was suggested.

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

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