Residents of Wheeling’s Edgwood neighborhood are voicing their opinions on the possibility of another bank coming to National Road.
The proposed location is the vacant Edgwood Lutheran Church, which is two-tenths of a mile from a Chase Bank. While some residents think this would be a good move for the local economy, others believe it would create a traffic nightmare.
National Road winds through Edgwood. It’s a busy, narrow stretch that some residents believe is busy enough as is. They have attended recent city council meetings to voice their displeasure over the potential of another bank opening up in the neighborhood. On Wednesday night, some of those people shared their thoughts with 7news.
“I live within 100 feet or 200 feet of the property here and I don’t like the aspect of increased traffic in our neighborhood,” said Bob Dosirio.
Another Wheeling resident, Dr. Amanda Wakim, suggested that officials don’t know just how busy that portion of road really is. “When they did the traffic study, it was done on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a day that was icy and the schools were closed,” Dr. Wakim said. “It was not a true picture of what the traffic flow is like.”
Most of the residents we spoke with were opposed to a bank being built on the corner of National Road and Laurel Avenue.
The Wheeling Planning Commission, along with the city’s zoning commission, have already voted against these proposed zoning changes. The city council can still vote to have the bank constructed.
However, the councilman who represents Edgwood is standing by his constituents.
“We have residents from all walks of life, from all different backgrounds that are rallying together behind one goal and that goal is to protect the neighborhood that they’ve helped build,” said Ty Thorngate, Wheeling’s 5th Ward Councilman. “It’s unfair for people from outside of the area to say that these people are anti-business or anti-ban. But at this time, it’s impossible for them to support a zone change that’s going to change the overall fabric of the neighborhood when most of their concerns have been largely ignored by the bank and their representatives.”
Public safety was the main concern for those who gathered on the property, but other issues came to mind.
“We’re worried about the value of our property,” Dr. Wakim said. “We’re worried that by starting to change the zoning, it will continue to snowball and bring more businesses.”
Preserving Wheeling’s history is another priority. “We live in a historic neighborhood,” said Dosirio. “The architecture is on the National Register. Replacing the church with a modern facility such as a bank, would not fit in our neighborhood.”
7News will continue to follow this story both on-air and online.