MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Woodburn Association of Neighbors in Morgantown held a meeting Wednesday about the Richwood Redevelopment Project before it heads to the planning commission early next week.
Representatives from the Morgantown Area Partnership, Monongalia County Development Authority and the private developer working on the project provided information and answered questions from residents. Currently, the plan is to continue with rezoning the majority of the parcels into a single commercial mixed-use property.
“We are filing for zoning. If we get the zoning, and then we get our financing completed in January, then site plans and more detailed work can be done on the site to understand where—where and what can be built there. We also will be tearing down the homes currently owned by the development authority because we do have financing and funding to do that from, from the city of Morgantown. So, eliminating the structures, which have become dilapidated, will be a good positive step forward for the, for the community and for the area.”Russell Rogerson, president and CEO of Morgantown Area Partnership
Rogerson also said many people typically see the development of communities happening outside the boundaries of the traditional city, and they think it’s important that Morgantown continues to be a healthy and vibrant area by adding additional value through this redevelopment project.
“Some of the concerns that we have as counsel, this project was initially supposed to be done through a PUD, a Planned Unit Development, that city council would essentially have the final say over what happens in that area. Due to some time constraints and budget constraints, we are now looking at rezoning the property from our 1A residential into a B1 neighborhood business district. So, the neighborhood is concerned about some of the uses that are permitted in that district that may not make sense for this area.”Danielle Trumble, 5th Ward city council member
Trumble added that the neighborhood and the residents have been involved with the planning of the zone since the beginning, and they have been very vocal about what they would like to see in the redeveloped area, including neighborhood-based businesses, restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops and fitness studios.