CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Members of Charleston's municipal planning commission voted Wednesday afternoon to allow the rezoning of a residential district to a "residential-office district" to better reflect the nature of Corridor G.
The parcel of land at 933 Oakhurst Drive runs along U.S. 119 and is across from Lucado Road in South Hills. John Wells owns the land, and also owns and operates Wells Home Furnishings located about a half-mile farther south down the road from the Oakhurst Drive parcel.
"We don't know what our plans are right now but we'd like the opportunity," Wells said. "You can see what's happening on Corridor G -- seems more practical with the [street] noise to put a doctor's office [there]."
Wells said if they develop the property they would need to level some of the land and create an entry to the roadway. Residents in nearby Hunters Ridge apartments and condominiums were sent notices and provided a chance to voice concerns about the potential rezoning. Charleston planning director Dan Vriendt said no one opposed it.
"The nature of the corridor has greatly changed since 1996," Vriendt said.
The commission had previously granted rezoning for residential to residential-office district for three other requests. Several doctors' offices have moved into the district already. The planning commission is in the middle of updating a 1996 land use plan for rezoning amendments.
Also Wednesday, commission members were given an update to the Imagine Charleston project. Imagine Charleston will replace the 1996 comprehensive plan and the 1996 neighborhood plan. The project aims to connect the cities' neighborhoods, make downtown more livable and accessible all while encouraging Charleston's historical past.
"Right now, we're finalizing the plan," said Vriendt. "Then we have to draft a bill and get it introduced and advertised at a public meeting."
Once city attorneys OK the plan, it will move for approval from the planning commission to the planning committee before it reaches City Council.
Charleston Councilwoman Mary Jean Davis is excited about the community's involvement in the plan. Davis noted most public meetings do not have a high level of attendance and therefore community input. For this plan, Davis said community members came out and thought outside the box.
"It was exciting to have the turnout and the input from everyone," she said.
The plan will go before the planning commission in the next 30 to 40 days, Vriendt said.
Reach Caitlin Cook at caitlin.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.