MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Monongalia County Planning Commission’s (MCPC) Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) has stopped having hearings for zoning appeals in the West Run District.
This, according to MCPC Director of Planning Andrew Gast-Bray, is due to a petitioner’s court filing that asserts that because the BZA has only been meeting with a quorum and not the full board it was in direct violation of regulations. Gast-Bray said hearings were suspended because if the petitioner were to win, it would draw everything into question that they have been doing since the court filing. He adds that as a result of the cancellation, there is a growing queue of individuals waiting for their cases to be argued before the BZA.
The petitioner has the right to file these questions, but certainly, I feel that the bigger interest is for the county to be able to continue to cater to its residents, all of its residents, in the way that they have been working for a long time. That is what they’ve grown to expect, whether it’s right or wrong based on a regulation that was passed many years ago and everybody has been operating under the same presumption. We feel that it would behoove everyone to get back to business as usual because business keeps moving on. Businesses keep having applications and I feel that we’d like to get this back on track so that people can be served in a timely manner.Andrew Gast-Bray – Director of Planning
Gast-Bray said the BZA has made a motion to dismiss the case because the applicant made their court filings much later than the allowed date. At this time, he said, he is just trying to remain neutral until the hearings in late September are concluded.
If the petitioner were to win, he said, the outcome of this case could have some ramifications outside of the West Run District and affect the whole county. For now, the director said, BZA is hopeful for positive outcomes and to have the ability to meet in October and start procedures for the queue that is building up.