Councilmen Discuss Woodsdale Decision

Wheeling Councilmen David Miller and Don Atkinson told Woodsdale residents Wednesday they will not seek to overturn the Planning Commission’s decision to deny a zone change request for 95 acres of wooded hillside along Bethany Pike.

About 20 members of the Woodsdale neighborhood turned out for a community meeting hosted by Miller at Woodsdale Elementary School. Atkinson, council’s representative to the commission, joined Miller to answer questions about the commission’s decision.

Kevin Coyne of Wheeling and Doug Grayson of Pennsylvania, owners of the property along Bethany Pike on the hillside above Woodsdale, had asked the planning commission to rezone the property from residential to commercial in anticipation of future economic development. But the owners did not reveal their specific plans for the property, and that weighed heavily in the commission’s decision, Atkinson and Miller said.

At its April 2 meeting, City Council will vote on whether to accept or reject the minutes of the March 11 commission meeting.

“To overturn that decision, someone on council would have to object to the minutes and call for a vote with respect to those minutes,” Miller said. “As we sit here, I’m not going to be the council member who objects to those minutes.”

Atkinson was the only member of the commission to vote against rejecting the request. But like Miller, he said he wouldn’t move to reject the Planning Commission’s minutes and overturn its decision at the next council meeting.

In other matters, residents praised the increased presence of Wheeling police officers in Woodsdale.

Lt. Mike Anderson told them Woodsdale has especially benefited from the city’s move away from the mandate requiring two officers in a cruiser.

He said the voters’ decision has allowed the department to place more cars occupied by just one officer on the city’s streets.

In the past, there often was just one car patrolling Woodsdale at any given time, he said. Today, that number ranges from two to four cars on patrol. He added that a substation for Wheeling police officers serving Woodsdale is presently under construction within Wheeling Park’s White Palace.