Proposed Motel Still Has Residents Up in Arms
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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