Group Hopes to Transform Brownfield Site
Trail Plan Goes to Zoning
Morgantown Dominion Post
8 April 2014
By Ben Conley
A plan by the Mon River Trails Conservancy (MRTC) to turn the
former Quality Glass site into a trail head, complete with boat
launch, parking areas and a restroom facility is heading to the
West Run Planning District Board of Zoning Appeals.
The 2.8-acre site on Van Voorhis Road is a brownfield, meaning it
was formerly used for industrial or commercial purposes. The
location underwent a remediation process beginning in 2009 during
which contaminated soil was removed and clean soil brought in.
In 2012, the property was deeded from the Monongalia County
Commission to Star City, which has since officially donated the
property to the MRTC.
The MRTC’s plans include a 9,025-square-foot gravel parking lot
and pathway leading to a ramp for non-motored boats, as well as an
84-square-foot non-plumbed toilet facility.
As part of the brownfield agreement, excavation, drilling or other
penetration of the land is prohibited.
Additionally, a small, paved lot already used for trail access
will be striped for five spaces, including handicapped use.
Monongalia County Planner Rich Wood recommended approval of a
Conditional Use Permit for the project, which is necessary for the
installation of a parking lot without a business.
The Board of Zoning Appeals for the West Run Planning District
will decide whether or not to grant that permit on April 16.
“Oh yes, I certainly am,” Norma Gallagher said when asked if she
was going to the meeting. “I think everybody down here is going.”
Gallagher said she has the signatures of nearly everyone in the
immediate area on a petition against the development. Most of the
signatures — 13 of 15 — are property owners, she said.
“I don’t have a problem with the trail. I walk the trail. I’m not
against development. In fact, I agree there needs to be more
parking to get people off the street and off people’s property,
but you’re going to have to give me a good reason for the restroom
and the boat ramp,” Gallagher said.”
Ronald Ford agreed.
“This is residential. This area they’re talking about is
surrounded by people’s homes. Folks come down here and park in our
grass, throw trash and dog [waste] on our property ... You ask
someone to put their dog on a leash and they act like they want to
fight you,” Fo rd said. “People who want this don’t live down
Ford agreed that parking should be increased to keep visitors from
blocking streets and driveways, but he said he was against a
bathroom and boat ramp that would pull more people in. He said he
planned on making that point at the April 16 meeting.
“You wouldn’t believe the things that have gone on down here, the
things the people around here have put up with. It’s to the point
I run to the window every time the dog barks. My vehicles are
parked out here,” Ford said. “I’ll tell you the truth, I’d rather
have the train back. Since the trail came through, this place has
gone hog wild.”
The April 16 meeting will be held in the Planning Commission’s
first-floor conference room at the Morgantown Municipal Airport