Zoning Board Seeks Some Clarity On Business Plan for Old Church

The need for clarification was a recurring theme at Thursday’s Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.

The board began the meeting by hearing from applicant Dan Brown who requested a conditional use permit and variance to reduce the mandatory off-street parking requirement from three spaces to zero for a business he wants to establish in the abandoned property at 3638-3640 Eoff St.

Board Chairman Martin Sheehan outlined the issues associated with such a request to include those of operating a business in a residential area and how to deal with parking requirements that come with doing so.

The property, an old church, “was in very good shape at one point,” according to Brown. With the ultimate goal of turning it into an apartment complex, he discussed various options for the facility’s near future. The main business venture he focused on involved a wholesale electronic facility.

Addressing parking requirements, Brown said the impact on the neighborhood would be very minimal as he only works with two clients and doesn’t sell to the general public.

When Brown had the property inspected, recommendations for changing the building’s electrical plans were designed with requirements for an apartment complex, not warehouse, in mind.

The board decided that Brown’s property use description was vague. All five board members voted unanimously to table the request for next month.

“I feel like you have an idea… (but) it’s not developed,” Sheehan told Brown. “You’re giving me a lot of pause about where we’re going.”

Also present at the meeting was local resident Stephen Dolan, whose request to appeal the city’s decision last fall that noise from Sledd Co.’s East Cove Avenue distribution facility is within allowable limits had been tabled twice due to board member presence at previous meetings.

City Solicitor Rosemary Humway-Warmuth reminded the board that the issue at hand was one of timeliness, not substance. Dolan, who lives at 163 Idabelle Ave., submitted his application after the 10-day appeal period had passed.

“The position of the city of Wheeling is that this matter, this appeal, is so untimely… This is not only a slippery slope, it’s a steep hill,” said Humway-Warmuth about Dolan submitting an appeal Dec. 8. As a resident of the area, Dolan did receive notices from the city regarding the ruling and deadlines of appeal.

Dolan admitted not understanding the form requirements for appeal and said this example is “an opportunity for us as a city to be a little clearer in the future.” He added that he thought he was complying with the appeal procedure when he was not.

The board voted unanimously to deny the appeal as untimely.