Striplight Theatre relocation plans move forward

Weirton Zoning Board also approves timbering project

WEIRTON — A local theater group will be able to move forward with plans to occupy a new location, and a timbering company can begin a project for a local business, following Tuesday’s meeting of the Weirton Zoning Board of Appeals.

Shawn Homes appeared before the board, speaking on behalf of the Striplight Theatre Co., as part of the group’s request for a conditional use to occupy the former Dunbar School at 2850 Weir Ave., and use it as a performing arts venue.

Jessica Gumm, program manager for the city’s Planning and Development Department, explained city code requires approval from the board for the redevelopment of a closed school.

“There are no conditions to it,” she said. “It’s just one of the rules in the book.”

Holmes noted the property currently is owned by the Soplinski family, and the theater group is leasing with the possibility of a purchase later in the year. It previously has been the site of Krazy Bout Sportz.

“We have the option to buy in July,” he said.

Board member Gaston Blanc said he previously took part in a production from Striplight Theatre.

“I think it’s going to be a real asset to the community,” Blanc said.

In other business, a conditinoal use permit also was approved for William Randall Archey Logging, on behalf of Brownlee Land Ventures LLC, for a timbering project on more than 300 acres off of Park Drive.

“All timbering activities are required to come to the Zoning Board,” Gumm said.

It was noted there were no nearby residential properties to be affected by the timbering, and the operations would be using only state-owned roadways.

With only three of the five members in attendance, the Zoning Board opted to table the election of officers until the February meeting.

(Howell can be contacted at, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)