Written by Lindsey Burnworth
Last updated on April 18, 2013 @ 6:51PM
Created on April 18, 2013 @ 4:24PM
For the past month, 5 News has been keeping tabs on a proposed motel in Philippi that has some residents up in arms.
The property's owner wants to build the Battlefield Inn and Suites in the middle of the historical district, but neighbors say they don't want a business in their neighborhood.
Just a few days ago, city council voted down the rezoning request, but that doesn't mean the change couldn't still happen.
The reason they voted it down was because members want the planning commission to look at the rezoning one more time before they decide what to do.
Right now, the property on Walnut Street is considered residential. For owner Shawn McPherson to build the motel, it needs to become a commercial property.
The city council is now looking at whether to rezone the area to a C2 or C3 zone.
The difference between the two would be that the C2 lot would give the city control of what could go there if the motel wasn't built, where a C3 property would allow any business to be put in.
Neighbors said they don't want the motel built near their homes because it could bring unwanted problems to the area.
"Philippi is one of the last remaining historical towns that isn't big city. We are very small, and full of small businesses, and we're a very intimate community. Everybody knows everybody, that kind of thing, so I think the state Historical and Cultural Division was a little upset that they're trying to make this residential area a commercial one," said neighbor Rebecca Kropf.
Owner Shawn McPherson sees it as an economic opportunity for the city, and is hopeful council will approve the request.
"They're governed by our state to help with zoning regulations, and you can rezone certain areas, be it historical or another area within the city, sometimes you need to rezone areas so you can progress, you can grow and prosper," said Shawn McPherson, owner of the property.
The issue will be brought up before the planning commission again before it's voted on in council.
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Apr 18, 2013 at 10:02 PM
It seems to me that your reporting is very biased. Why not turn the camera around and see what's all around this corner lot? Why not show that there are all commercial establishments all around this property? Why not show the fact that the primary complainant, the guy who's against the motel, runs a lodging establishment immediately beside the proposed Inn, a lodging establishment that he's owned all of six years and has been trying to sell for three? This is a terrific project for Philippi, and will provide a much-needed shot in the arm for a town that could use some positive development. And while you're at it, why not go up the street with your camera and check out the property owned by Rebecca Kropf, the woman you interviewed who is so anti-progress?