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UPDATE: City Council Clears Way for Wheeling Jesuit Apartment Building Despite Protests

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WHEELING, W.Va -

WTRF.COM UPDATE:

A piece of land beside Washington Avenue will be rezoned after a vote by Wheeling city council on Tuesday. 

The property will go from being zoned as single-family residential, to high-density residential. 
Only three of seven council members voted against the move that will allow for the construction of a three-story apartment building, something that residents have voiced opposition to over the past several months.

Changing the zoning to an "R-4" will allow a proposed 36-unit apartment building that will house Wheeling Jesuit graduate students to be constructed. Concerned residents have said re-zoning will compromise the integrity and safety of their neighborhood.



ORIGINAL STORY:

At Tuesday evening's meeting, Wheeling City Council heard a reading of the ordinance to re-zone part of Washington Avenue to allow for the construction of a three-story apartment building.  

Changing the zoning to R-4 would allow a proposed 36-unit apartment building that will house Wheeling Jesuit graduate students to be constructed. Concerned residents say re-zoning will compromise the integrity and safety of their neighborhood.

"Many of us are in favor of having a win-win situation for both the residents and the university," one Washington Avenue resident said. "Clearly it's in the interest of Wheeling in general, and us as close neighbors of the university that they thrive. We all need to thrive. We need to find a win-win."

Wheeling Jesuit's President, Father James Fleming, addressed concerns. He said if any other option were plausible, the university would be exploring it. 

He said all of Jesuit's current housing options are full, including Steenrod apartments, where graduate students currently live. In regards to safety and crime, he says police have not been called to Steenrod in the past three years. He also cited the 32,000 hours of volunteer work Jesuit students provide the community.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, City Council contracted a company that will set up an online bill payment center, so that residents will be able to pay their water, sewage, and garbage bills on the Internet.