Council to Hear Zone Change Request, Vote on Cruisers

Wheeling City Council will vote Tuesday on whether to give Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger the four new cruisers he wants to spread out the extra miles officers are logging under new single-officer patrol procedures.

Council members also will be notified of a request from city resident Kevin Coyne to have about 94 acres of property he owns along Bethany Pike rezoned from residential to commercial when they meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers, located on the first floor of the City-County Building, 1500 Chapline St.

The proposed $119,448 cruiser purchase from Doan Ford of Belmont is not a budgeted expense for this year, but with revenue ahead of last year’s pace City Manager Robert Herron recommended council approve the purchase, which will be paid off over three years.

Meanwhile, Coyne’s request includes two rental properties at 194 and 196 Bethany Pike as well as about 94 acres of undeveloped land behind the former Robinson Auto building, which is now the Covenant Community Church.

He said there are no definite plans for the future of the property, which includes a lot of steep terrain that will have to see significant work before any kind of development takes place. He also noted the two rental houses will remain in their current use.

“It’s a big undertaking. … Nothing to report yet,” Coyne said. “We’re just going through the process with the city.”

The land currently is zoned R-1A, or single-family residential. A new designation of C-2 Commercial would open the property up to a host of possible uses – everything from a car wash, repair shop or bowling alley to a restaurant, hotel or funeral home, in addition to single- or multi-family residential use.

Assistant Director of Economic and Community Development Tom Connelly said the request likely will be referred to the city’s Planning Commission for a public hearing March 11. If approved by that body, it would need to pass two readings before council, meaning the zone change wouldn’t become official until sometime in May.

Council also will hear about another zone change petition Tuesday, one that would rezone property at 111 Park View Lane from R-1B, single-family medium density to Educational, Medical and Office.

Other items up for a vote Tuesday include purchase of $122,719 in equipment for monitoring overflow in the city’s combined sewer system from FloWav Inc. of Hummelstown, Pa.; spending $51,509 with Savage Construction of Wheeling for a waterline extension project on Idabelle Avenue; spending $40,557 with Ace Truck Equipment of Zanesville, Ohio, for a crane; and a $34,000 contract with McKeen Security Inc. of St. Clairsville to provide a safety coordinator for city employees that will work out of the Operations Center in Clator.

Council also will vote on several traffic rules, including a handicapped parking zone at 3620 Wood St.; establishing a two-hour, metered handicapped parking spot on the east side of Market Street at its intersection with Lane 17; and establishing no-parking zones on the north side of Lane 19 between Eoff Street and Lane D and on both sides of Lane D from Lane 19 to 22nd Street.