Parking Variance Sought for Washington Ave. Complex

A developer who plans to build a three-story apartment complex on Washington Avenue near Wheeling Jesuit University is asking city leaders to relax its standards for parking availability at the site.

If approved, the zoning variance Jonathan Bedway of Double J Realty is requesting would allow the apartment complex to be built with one-third fewer parking spaces than required by law. The Wheeling Board of Zoning Appeals had been scheduled to consider that request Thursday morning, but the meeting was postponed due to lack of a quorum, according to City Clerk Janice Jones.

The meeting has been rescheduled for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday on the first floor of the City-County Building.

City code requires 1.5 parking spaces per dwelling unit in an R-4 zone, or 54 spaces for a 36-unit apartment complex. However, Bedway wants to build the complex with 36 spaces – just one per unit.

On Oct. 1, a divided City Council voted 4-3 to re-zone about 20 properties previously zoned as single-family residential on the west side of Washington Avenue beginning at Interstate 70 and heading north for high-density residential use, including the lots from 232-240 Washington Ave. on which the proposed apartment complex is to be built. Parking availability for the complex was one of many concerns expressed during the re-zoning debate by neighborhood residents who fear adding 36 two-bedroom units will further congest what already is a busy area.

Officials with Wheeling Jesuit University, which would have initial – but not exclusive – rights to fill the units with graduate students and faculty, have said they would make on-campus parking spaces available to tenants on the hill overlooking the site.

If board members approve the parking variance, the city still would have to approve a site plan for the apartment building before it can be built, because its size would exceed 4,000 square feet.