By Sarah Plummer
Members of the Beckley Common Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to rezone property on Harper Road and to annex property in Maxwell Hill.
Lots 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the property owned By Nick J. Rahall will be rezoned from one-family district to office-residential and lots 9 and 10 will be rezoned from one-family district to highway business district.
One resident, Ira Gangopadhyay, who has previously voiced her opposition to the rezoning, spoke Tuesday night once again trying to urge Council to not allow the rezoning.
The rezoning of the property will allow for an Enterprise car rental facility to be constructed there.
Gangopadhyay believes the business would create unwanted lighting for surrounding residents, traffic issues, and her property value would decrease, as well as several other concerns.
She also mentioned a deed restriction that she believes makes the rezoning of the property illegal.
Councilman-at-large Tim Berry said deed restrictions are not to be dealt with by Common Council; City attorney Bill File agreed, saying it would be an issue for Raleigh County Circuit Court.
Councilwoman Ann Worley, who is a member of the Planning Commission, said the Planning Commission believed rezoning would be the best use for the property.
“We gave great consideration to the finding of facts. Even without Enterprise, rezoning is the issue here,” Worley said. “We all care about what the residents think and feel. We want to work with you, Ms. G.”
Councilman Tom Sopher said he has spoken with Rahall and Enterprise representatives are willing to accommodate the needs of the surrounding residents and address their concerns about lighting and other issues.
No one else spoke either in favor or opposition of the rezoning and Council passed the motion.
A motion was also passed for annexation of property in Maxwell Hill owned by Doug and Linda Epling.
Another motion was passed to permanently close, vacate and discontinue use of an unimproved and unused right-of-way between Lambert Drive and Cresent Road.
Council voted to award a bid for control-access parking devices for the Beckley Intermodal Gateway project to Signature Control Systems, located in Pa., for $130,094.
During new business, Kevin Taylor, director of emergency services for the city of Beckley, presented the newly graduated Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
“This is just the start of something that will be very beneficial,” Taylor said. “We want to add to the numbers and establish a CERT team in every ward in the city of Beckley.”
As another item of new business, Mayor Emmett Pugh said a committee will be formed to take a look at the current police department to determine whether or not a new facility should be considered.
The next Common Council meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 7:30 p.m.