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Putnam County Planning Commission pushing for more businesses

Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 12:01 AM EDT
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PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - An ordinance that would rezone single-family home properties to business properties is now making its way to the Putnam County Commission for approval -- for the fourth time.

During their meeting Tuesday night, the Putnam County Planning Commission voted to recommend the change of the zoning of the land on two properties that sit along Mount Vernon Road in Hurricane.

At this time, the properties are listed under Residential One or ‘R1′ which means only residential or single-family homes can be built on the properties. However, the planning commission is hoping to rezone, or make, those properties ‘C1,′ or commercial one, so that certain businesses can build on the land instead.

Officials say it would be smaller businesses, like a Dollar Tree, that would be able to go on the land if the rezoning ordinance gets approved.

“If the county commission would approve the rezoning and then a developer would want to develop the land, there are numerous ordinances that would then need to be followed as part of the permitting for the construction,” said Jacob Pack, president of the planning commission. “(Those ordinances) would address all of the questions the public brought up (Tuesday).”

“We have a security issue, safety issue with taking the R1 properties that have been requested to be upgraded to C1,” said Hurricane resident Fred Mader, who spoke out against the ordinance. “We have businesses up and down Route 34 and plenty of properties for C1 to move in alongside Route 34. There’s really no reason for them to move back into the R1 area where we live in a protected, secured type of environment.”

Several others spoke out against the rezoning of the ordinance, saying there would be too much noise and the commercial traffic would pose a danger to their safety if the measure goes through.

“The decision (Tuesday), to me, was basically on making a buck, not on the security and safety of the people who live in that area,” Mader said.

The recommendation to approve the rezoning of the ordinance was passed in a 5-4 vote by the planning commission and will now go to the County Commission for approval or denial at their next meeting on April 29.

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