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Expedite Action On GC&P Plan

It really is true that time is money, especially in business development. But time also is aggravation in some situations.

Wheeling Councilwoman Wendy Scatterday, who also serves as a member of the municipal Planning Commission, is right, then: Commissioners should expedite the decision-making process regarding GC&P Development as much as they can, while handling the matter responsibly.

GC&P Development LLC has proposed a big development atop a hill in the city’s Woodsdale neighborhood. A 50- to 55-acre “mixed-use village” is planned, to include residential and commercial space. Access to it would be from W.Va. 88.

Planning commission members are involved because a change in the city’s comprehensive zoning plan would be required for the development to proceed.

Part of the process is examination by commissioners on how the development would affect traffic in the affected neighborhood. On Monday, Michael Hooper, who is counsel for GC&P Development, said the study is being prepared. It should be ready for presentation in mid-March, he said.

After hearing that, Commissioner Howard Monroe suggested discussion of the study during the panel’s May meeting, rather than in April. “What I want is time to review the information once it comes in,” Monroe explained.

Well, good for Monroe for desiring to examine the traffic study carefully.

But Scatterday, whose ward includes Woodsdale, urged fellow commissioners to take the study up “within 30 days upon receipt of the materials …”

Scatterday said her desire to expedite the process is “for the sake of the residents (of the affected area) who continue to have a great uncertainty about their own state of affairs. They’re in limbo right now. As this goes on, their limbo goes on.”

She is right, both for the sake of those who would be affected by the proposal and for GC&P Development. Whatever happens — whether city officials allow the firm to proceed or reject its plan — every day of delay costs money.

If commissioners receive the plan by mid-March, it would be appropriate for them to hold a meeting about four weeks later. If that conflicts with the panel’s normal schedule, a special meeting — announced publicly, well in advance — may be desirable for all concerned.

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