The Putnam County Planning Commission on Tuesday recommended denying a proposed commercial rezoning in Hurricane after area residents raised concerns about stormwater drainage, increased traffic and risks to school children.
Eleven members of the planning commission joined in the unanimous negative recommendation. The zoning change request will now go to the Putnam County Commission for approval or disapproval.
About 10 residents spoke at Tuesday’s meeting against Timothy Spradling’s request to rezone about 1.6 acres near the corner of Mt. Vernon and Teays Valley roads from residential to commercial designation.
Representatives of at least two homeowners’ associations, representing Hampton Crossing and Country Villas, were among those in opposition.
“This is the first place we’ve lived in Putnam County where people care about people,” said Doug Pitzer, who said he lives on Mt. Vernon Road across from the proposed rezoning. “Commerical lots would destroy that.”
Pitzer, a former principal of Mountain View Elementary School, was among the residents who raised worries about the safety of kids at bus stops around the area, which they argued was already flush with traffic. Pitzer said a child was hit in the area while he was principal.
Spradling, a local contractor, said his plan for the property is to sell it to a developer to create high-end apartments or office space. He said he wishes to solve the drainage issues on the site and argued commercial property generates more tax revenue for the county.
Before the vote to recommend denying the zoning amendment, planning commission president Joseph Tyree said the situation was an example of how zoning regulations are beneficial.
“This is what zoning does for you,” Tyree said. “It protects you, it keeps you from being encroached upon.”
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