Council OKs Abandoning Lane in Hotel Expansion

WHEELING – City Council on Tuesday voted to abandon Corliss Terrace Road, clearing the way for Hampton Inn’s planned expansion of its Woodsdale hotel.

The lane abandonment passed unanimously, contingent upon Hampton Inn constructing a replacement road about 75 feet away and dedicating it to the city. With a zoning variance allowing the hotel to expand to seven floors and site plan approval from the city Planning Commission already secured, the way appears clear for the project to proceed at a cost of $5 million to $6 million.

The decision was met with displeasure from residents of Corliss Avenue, a private drive overlooking the hotel. The road that is to be relocated provides the only access to the neighborhood, which consists of six homes and an apartment building.

One of those residents, Doug Huff, addressed council members following the vote, denouncing the decision as putting commercial interests before those of neighborhood residents. He also criticized the hotel for not involving him and other residents of the private drive in the planning process.

“I felt I had to protect my property and the integrity of our 85-year-old neighborhood. … This was an uphill battle from the start,” Huff said of his continued opposition to the project.

Huff said he and his neighbors will be keeping close watch as the project unfolds in the coming months.

“The I’s had better be dotted and the T’s crossed, and promises kept,” he said.

Prior to the vote, Councilman Don Atkinson asked several city department heads whether they felt the road relocation would impact safety or emergency vehicle access.

“We don’t have any issues with it, and we’ll monitor it as construction takes place,” Fire Chief Larry Helms said.

Both Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger and Public Works Director Russell Jebbia also said they don’t forsee any issues with relocating the road.

In other business, council voted to purchase a used street sweeper from Lacal Equipment of Jackson Center, Ohio for $92,000, and spend up to $25,000 on thermal imaging cameras for the fire department. Council approved an emergency second reading of the latter item after City Manager Robert Herron informed them the department’s old cameras no longer are operational.

Council also approved resolutions to pay CT Consultants $51,394 for work done on Wheeling’s water treatment plant project, and make a $29,780 payment on a 2005 loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that was used to bring a Lowe’s store to the city.