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Wheeling Planning Commission Green

Aug 12, 2023

May 30, 2023

Plans are in the works to expand the parking lot adjacent to Smoker Friendly's Liquor Plus on South Huron Street on Wheeling Island. Home on the adjacent property was recently razed and removed, and an effort is underway to expand employee and customer parking into the neighboring space. (Photo by Eric Ayres)

WHEELING — Two Wheeling businesses are taking action to expand their parking lots into adjacent properties that were recently razed, and members of the Wheeling Planning Commission this month gave the green light to preliminary steps needed to do so.

During this month's regular meeting of the Wheeling Planning Commission, representatives of Smoker Friendly on Wheeling Island and The 19th Hole in Woodsdale both appeared before the commission with requests to eventually expand their parking lots into recently demolished neighboring properties.

Joe Downing, regional supervisor for Smoker Friendly, said they recently purchased the neighboring property at 108 S. Huron St.

"The porch and everything was falling off of it," Downing said. "We bought that and tore it down, and now we basically just want to expand our parking lot."

Currently a vacant lot next to the Smoker Friendly's Liquor Plus location at 100 S. Huron St., the adjacent property is zoned Residential. A public hearing was held on the request to change the property from Residential to Commercial. No one came to speak during the hearing this month.

Planning Commission members noted that the change would not be considered "spot zoning" because it would be "contiguous" to the Commercial zone in which the neighboring business is situated.

Downing said they plan to create an additional six parking spots for a total of 12 to 15 paved spots, with fencing that would be uniform with fencing used by neighboring businesses.

"It will make it look a lot nicer over there, and will give my employees somewhere to park," Downing said, noting that there are six employees at the business. "There's really nowhere to park. Employees can park along the back side, and we’ll keep the front open to customers."

The Planning Commission unanimously agreed to recommend the zone change request.

The action will go to Wheeling City Council for final approval. If the zone change request is approved, then Smoker Friendly's site plan for the new lot will have to come back to the Planning Commission for approval.

Over in Woodsdale, The 19th Hole at 780 National Road is expected to expand its parking lot as well. Just this spring, the adjacent Minit Car Wash and Detail Center was demolished next door. Both the car wash and The 19th Hole operated out of Quonset hut-style buildings between T.J.'s Sports Garden and the Taco Bell on National Road.

"We tore down the car wash," said David Shriver, speaking on behalf of The 19th Hole. "There are a lot of soft places where we tore it down."

Shriver said they planned to tar and chip the area where the car wash once stood until it settles. He said they hoped to be able to pave the entire lot next year and add landscaping, fencing and a barrier wall along the creek to the rear of the property. Once completed, there is expected to be 16 additional curbed and striped spaces in the newly paved portion of the adjacent lot.

"When the time comes, we need to see some type of storm sewer or water runoff plan," Planning Commission member Howard Monroe said.

The panel agreed to approve a preliminary site plan to use the adjacent lot for parking, but noted that Shriver will have to come back to the Planning Commission with a new site plan with a storm water management strategy before the lot can be paved. Shriver noted that there was an existing drain that had been capped where the car was stood, but that drain can be uncapped and used as part of the runoff plan.

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