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Settle GC&P Issue Quickly

Members of the Wheeling Planning Commission are poised to make what for most, if not all, will be the toughest decision of their time on the panel. Yes, the GC&P Development vote.

Thirteen months ago, we recommended the commission proceed cautiously on the matter. Plenty of time was needed to gather information and hear opinions on the GC&P Development plan, we noted. “This one is too big to rush,” we concluded.

Little did we or anyone else involved know. COVID-19 intruded into the Planning Commission process, forcing delay after delay in holding a public hearing on the issue. Give credit to the panel for arranging the meeting this week at WesBanco Arena.

GC&P Development plans a massive mixed-use project atop a hill overlooking the city’s Woodsdale neighborhood. For work to proceed, a change in how the area is zoned is needed. That would have to be approved by City Council, following a recommendation from the Planning Commission.

Both in writing and at public meetings including the one on Monday, commission members have gathered a wide range of information and opinions on the proposal. As we reported, an unofficial count of those speaking about it during the hearing was 20 against the project and 18 for it.

There is disagreement about numbers. Some on both sides of the dispute insist they outnumber their opponents.

Be that as it may, it is clear there are a significant number of people on both sides of the question.

That makes it difficult for commission members in coming to a conclusion.

They should do just that, however — by their next meeting, scheduled for Oct. 19. Whatever their decision, commissioners should provide enough explanatory material to allow city council to issue its ruling in November.

Controversy over the GC&P proposal dates back more than seven years. One way or another, it is time to settle the matter.

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