Community, Government, Latest News, Morgantown Council

Commission is expected to sign off on Solomon Road annex plan

The Monongalia County Commission is expected to sign off on an annexation plan today that will bring about 170 acres along Solomon Road, and Solomon Road itself, into the city of Westover.

The addition is being accomplished through annexation without election — meaning a majority of freeholders (property owners) and qualified voters (businesses) to be annexed have signed off on the move.

 Westover City Attorney Tim Stranko said 27 of the 34 freeholders were in support, as were two of the three qualified voters located along the road.

One of the parcels being annexed is currently under development.

“We have a big development to the far left as you’re looking at the map,”  Westover Mayor Dave Johnson said. “They’re already under construction. They have several townhouses built already and they’re going to end up with something like 250.”

Johnson continued saying that another large parcel being annexed was formerly farmland and will likely be the site of development in the near future.

In some instances, only the property lying beneath the Solomon Road right-of-way is being annexed. There are stretches along the road in which the property to either side is not up for annexation.

During a recent work session, Commission President Ed Hawkins compared it to string annexation.

Stranko responded.

“We’re solving a problem here that the DOH was unable or unwilling to solve. There are hundreds of people now coming to this area and that road was, and is, essentially a farm road,” Stranko said. 

  Adequate access is one of the issues being addressed in the county’s forthcoming subdivision regulations.

Hawkins said the commission regularly hears from people who ask why their roads are so inadequate or in such poor condition.

“It’s because your road was a farm road a developer used. They might have put some asphalt over it. They might not have. But it was just simply something that had no code, no rhyme, no reason, no drainage,” Hawkins said.

It was explained that Westover had a maintenance agreement in place with the West Virginia Division of Highways and will likely spend in the ballpark of $300,000 improving Solomon Road.

“This is an action by the mayor and council of Westover to front the money to fix this road. We know in the long-term we’ll get it back in property taxes, but we’re talking about a 30-year payback here,” Stranko said. “So this is a generous act by the city, I think.”

TWEET @BenConley_DP