MORGANTOWN — The Monongalia County Commission approved a zoning reclassification for 2.57 acres in the West Run Planning District during its regular Wednesday meeting.
Jim Collins and Ron Lytle, partners in Lyco Properties, requested the change from a “Neighborhood Residential” classification to “High Density Residential” for the properties at 1400 and 1500 Charles Street.
Collins explained that given recent or planned expansions at both Ruby Memorial Hospital and Mon Health Medical Center, as well as the property’s proximity to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Lyco Properties plans to replace the 50-year old apartments on the site with “high-end and energy-efficient, aesthetically pleasing housing for professionals.”
Charles Craig, a resident of Cherry Lane, was among a trio of neighbors to speak out in opposition, with the thrust of concerns pertaining to additional traffic on poorly maintained roads in the North Hills neighborhood.
Craig explained that the North Hills Neighbors Association is a voluntary group that’s done its best to provide snow removal, pothole repairs and other infrastructure maintenance despite having no recourse to collect membership dues.
“With the new construction that would go along with the proposal, Charles Street will be impassable very shortly, and there’s no funds to maintain it, build it or keep it going,” Craig said, proposing the developer pay to fix the roads after construction and pro-vide neighborhood association dues in proportion to the number of new housing units going forward.
Lytle said he was agreeable to the proposal in principal, explaining it wouldn’t be in his group’s best interest to invest in a development while allowing the roads to deteriorate around it. He went on to say he would also like to work with the neighborhood association to create bylaws that are more equitable and not dependant on whether or not someone chooses to pay in.
“There’s some things that need worked out in that neighborhood. They actually increased the fees to those who were paying this year because there’s people who don’t pay, and I just think that’s as unfair as can be,” Lytle said, later adding, “I’m willing to help lead the effort to make this a better neighborhood across the board.”
In other county news, the commission said it would absorb increases in the dental and vision plans for county employees.
County Administrator Rennetta McClure said the increases — 95 cents for individual plans, $1.10 for family plans — would take effect July 1.
The commission also:
- Condemned a parcel totaling .88 acres in the Westridge development area as it lays across the path of a future four-lane road.
- It was explained that there was no objection from Consol Mining Company, which held the parcel.
- Certified the results of the May 8 primary election.