Council looks to correct zoning oddities dating back to 2006 – Times-West Virginian
FAIRMONT — City Council took the first step Tuesday to correct a zoning anomaly that dates back to 2006.
Council voted unanimously to hold a public hearing for Nov. 23 to rezone several parcels of land owned by Monongahela Valley Association of Health Centers.
“The problem is their land is in multiple zoning districts, and it has been since 2006 when the city redid the zoning for the whole city,” Fairmont’s Director of Planning & Development Shae Strait said.
The rezoning requests came as a result of MVA administrators looking into making changes on the Locust Avenue property.
“One of things that triggered the rezoning was a home [on MVA’s property] that we want to tear down and build a new building,” MVA’s Chief Operating Officer Kevin Crockett said.
“They were hoping to do some improvements on their land,” Strait said, “but the zoning didn’t allow for it.”
Until 2006, all of MVA’s property in Fairmont city limits was zoned for commercial use. It’s unclear why the zoning was changed, especially since the hospital had not made drastic changes to the use of their properties.
“We’ve owned the property since the hospital opened,” Crockett said. “The building we have was constructed in ‘63 or ‘64.”
The two areas under consideration include two parcels on Locust Avenue and eight nearby parcels on Hillside Drive. The parcels on Locust Avenue are used primarily for parking.
“Part of their parking lot on Locust Avenue is zoned educational, and the remainder of their parking lot and their two buildings on Locust Avenue are not zoned educational,” Strait said. “We have no idea why they are zoned that way. They can’t even put up [another building]. They can’t make anything bigger, or do anything differently than what they’re already doing.”
“We weren’t planning anything exciting,” Crockett said. “We received some funding through the American Rescue Plan, and we wanted to make some updates and renovations, and probably replace a roof.”
“Legally, rezoning is a complex action to take,” Strait said. “Nobody can just change the zoning on a piece of property. There are protections in place and very rigid rules about how we determine how property should be zoned under state law. We are working through that process with them in order to do that.”
“They own a lot of land,” Strait said. “It’s many, many different parcels that have never been merged,” Strait said.
The eight parcels …….