WESTOVER — Westover City Council chamber was abuzz Monday evening as a full house turned out to hear council talk a bit about bees.
Specifically, council passed first reading of two ordinances pertaining to apiaries, or beekeeping, within city limits.
The first removed apiaries from the list of prohibited uses within the city’s residential zoning districts and the second altered the city’s zoning table to allow apiaries within the R-1, R-2 and Industrial districts.
Public Works Director Jason Stinespring said apiaries will be a conditional use.
“It’s not going to be a permitted use. They’ll have to come and show they’re licensed with the state and they’ve done everything they’re supposed to, and then they’ll be granted that conditional use,” he said.
In other council news, first reading approval was granted for the annexation of 24.95 acres, including Corwin Place/Horizon View, located off DuPont Road.
The annexation is by petition, meaning it was brought at the request of a majority of freeholders in the territory to be annexed.
Councilor Ralph Mullins raised a concern about future financial liability stemming from a steep, slip-prone hill near a developed portion of the property.
Mayor Dave Johnson said the integrity of the hillside was compromised by development choices and is a known issue.
“I have spoken with the people who are involved. I was aware of that situation several years ago. That is solely the responsibility of the people that live in Corwin Place,” Mayor Dave Johnson said. “We’re not inheriting anything, no.”
Johnson previously said the annexation will bring some 44 townhouses and eight homes into the city.
Also on Monday, Deputy Police Chief Scott Carl said one of the suspects connected to the Nov. 27 theft of firearms from Sportsman’s Emporium has turned himself in.
Scott also said Westover Police will have an increased presence at the Morgantown Mall in the coming days in response to social media posts connected to a threat of self harm first identified by WVU officials late last week.
Scott said WPD checked into those posts and does not believe them to be credible, but will increase mall patrols as a precaution.
Lastly, Parotta Paving, at $77,000, was awarded a contract as the lowest of seven bids to address stormwater issues near the city’s ball fields, off Rousch Drive.