Site Requests Raise Questions

Three city businesses seeking designations as redevelopment sites received approval by Wheeling City Council’s Development Committee on Wednesday, but not until Councilwoman Gloria Delbrugge asked several questions.

During the noon meeting in council chambers, the committee was asked to approve the redevelopment designation for Bridgelin, a new Chinese restaurant at 76 29th St., in order for the business to acquire a liquor license. While the property already is zoned for the restaurant, the new designation is necessary for the liquor license.

The committee, which includes Mayor Andy McKenzie, Delbrugge and Vice Mayor Eugene Fahey, voted unanimously to approve the request from the Bridgelin restaurant.

Additional requests for the redevelopment designation were made by Drema Bonetempo for a bar to reopen at 703 Warwood Ave., the former location of Wayne’s World, and by Patsy Bussey for Club 17 at 106 N. 17th St., also in Warwood. The two bar owners sought the new designations in order to add video lottery machines to their locations.

However, Delbrugge said she believes the redevelopment site designation is being misused. She raised concerns about parking issues expressed to her by neighbors at the Warwood Avenue location.

“I’m not happy using this redevelopment site ordinance as a video lottery process,” Delbrugge said. “And there are always parking issues with bars in residential areas.”

McKenzie said the two bars in question are established businesses and the only issue before the committee was the matter of allowing the video lottery machines.

“They are grandfathered with the parking situation. Legally, there is nothing we can do if we didn’t want them to reopen. The only issue is solely to allow video lottery. This is not a bar or parking issue,” McKenzie said.

The committee voted 2-1 to approve Bonetempo’s request with Delbrugge voting “no” and McKenzie and Fahey moving in the affirmative. The committee unanimously approved Bussey’s request.