WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – GC&P Development, LLC has announced a plan to bring more development opportunities to Ohio County.
The company took that proposal to Wheeling’s Planning Commission on Monday night. If approved, the proposal would lead to the development of a mixed-use village in the Woodsdale neighborhood of Wheeling.
“It will provide things in Wheeling to do,” said Susan Hagan, who was raised in Woodsdale and owns property in that neighborhood. “Everybody is famous here in Wheeling for saying ‘we don’t have anything to do and I don’t want to go to The Highlands and I don’t want to go to the mall.’ Now we’re giving them something to do in Wheeling and now they’re complaining about, ‘oh we want something to do in Wheeling, but not in my backyard.'”
According to the company, this 100-acre property along West Virginia Route 88 would “include numerous uses and opportunities that are collectively not currently available in Wheeling.” These opportunities include office, education and medical spaces, retail shops, restaurants, a grocery store, hotel and more.
However, some residents say that Monday’s presentation was different than what they have heard in the past.
“It’s more extensive,” said Mary Ellen Cassidy of Woodsdale United. “I think it’s going to have a greater impact on the area than we even thought beforehand and we were concerned beforehand. Some of the concerns we have is the company before gave us no idea of what the development was going to be even though we have found out in documents that they knew what is was going to be and that it was this extensive.”
If this project receives approval, it would bring dozens, if not hundreds, of jobs to the area.
“Any development that will bring more jobs, more housing, you know and stuff like that, is a great thing for Wheeling,” said Hagan.
But some folks argue that the location is the issue, not the business idea itself.
“Our concern is for the public health and safety of the community both for run-off, mudslides and flooding,” said Cassidy. “We’ve seen some of that already from the disturbance that’s already happened. Our concern is for the traffic and that Bethany Pike, if it needs to be widened, there’s a creek on one side so is that going to take homes?”
According to GC&P representatives, it would take five years to prepare the site before construction could officially begin. They say they will use non-blasting means to excavate the site.
While residents were allowed to sit in on Monday’s meeting, it was not a public hearing, so they were not allowed to ask questions or make comments. The next meeting, which will be held on September 9, will not feature a public hearing either.