City Considering Zoning Change for Downtown Buildings - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

City Considering Zoning Change for Downtown Buildings

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In a meeting of the Ohio County Redevelopment Committee Tuesday, a motion was passed that would propose the change of the city's zoning code and allow residential use on the first floor of downtown buildings.

Downtown Wheeling is broken up into three different zones, and only one of those zones currently allows for residential use of the first floor. Right now, the ground floor of these buildings must be used for commercial space.

A St. Clairsville couple in the business of rehabilitating buildings for residential use just bought their third property in Wheeling. The Slack's expressed interest in buying more properties downtown, but were hitting a snag with the zoning code.

"We were at a disadvantage putting commercial space on the first floor," Heather Slack told 7 News. "If we were able to put residence on the first floor, it then made these buildings profitable and we were able to rehab them."

Tom Connelly, Assistant Director of Economic and Community Development, told 7 News the recommendation will be taken up at the next city council meeting on December 18. The ordinance will be read for the first time, on that day, and then a second reading would take place on January 3. After both those readings, the zoning code can be amended and people can begin to apply to use downtown buildings for this purpose, according to Connelly.

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