Weirton Zoning Board denies timbering request
WEIRTON — Approximately 30 city residents filled council chambers of the Weirton Municipal Building, Tuesday night, asking the city’s Zoning Board to turn down a proposal for timbering in their neighborhood.
Trumco Forest Products, acting on behalf of Francis Wargacki, requested a conditional use for a selective timbering project on approximately 92 acres off of Nicholas Drive. Under city code, all timbering activities in the city require approval from the Zoning Board.
Prior to its unanimous vote against the request, the board took comments from those gathered.
A representative of Trumco explained the plan had been to access the area through Gilson Avenue, with two to three trucks traveling through the area each day for a period of approximately four weeks. The representative said Gilson Avenue was the only available access for them.
Vince Dalesio, a resident who also serves as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in the neighborhood, was among those addressing the board, citing the steep grade of several streets. Several of the residents noted Hancock County Schools won’t send buses into the area.
“In the winter, even the salt trucks don’t want to go down,” Dalesio said.
Others noted the current conditions of the streets in the neighborhood, the number of children in the area, the potential for increased noise both as a result of the truck traffic and the removal of trees, and the potential of devaluing their own properties.
Jack Oaks, who has lived on Braxton Road since 1964, also spoke against the proposal.
“This whole plan of using these roads is stricly ridiculous,” Oaks said.
Members of the Zoning Board and city staff expressed their own concerns.
“Gilson is a pretty narrow road,” board member Bill Frohnapfel said. “It’s a very busy road.”
In a memo submitted to the board, Public Works Director Rod Rosnick, who also attended Tuesday’s meeting, also noted the narrowness of the roads in the area, as well as the difficulty for large vehicles to navigate in and out of the neighborhood. He also explained Gilson Avenue is the only way to access the area.