Council says no movement yet on development
CHESTER W.Va.– Residents Sharon Vinci and Don Porter attended Monday’s council meeting to ask about the city’s dispute with Sunset Development.
Sunset Development LLC, owned by Robert Reed, wants to build a mobile home park on the corner of Ninth Avenue and Collins Memorial Drive.
However, a city ordinance says a mobile home park cannot be established until a permit has been granted by the city and that it is on at least five acres of land.
Vinci attended the meeting with photos of recent work being done on the property. She said water lines are being put in.
“It’s my understanding that the owner of Sunset Development still has not applied for or been approved for any permits or anything like that,” said Vinci. “However court orders stated (Judge James Mazzone) stated very eagerly that if we saw any activity whatsoever happening in that area to notify him directly There was activity. I got pictures from just the other day.”
Reed placed a deposit for a water tap with the water department 18 months ago. At that time he did not submit the proper paperwork to complete the tap-in. Reed was also told the tap in could not be complete while the Chester vs. Vinci lawsuit regarding the legitimacy of the ordinance was in litigation. The case was ruled on in June of 2018 and Judge Mazzone ruled the ordinance was valid.
Reed filed another lawsuit against the city in March 2019. City Solicitor Mike Adams reported the case was for interpreting the terms and definitions of the mobil home ordinance. The case was dismissed on Nov.13 by Hancock County Circuit Court Judge Jason Cuomo.
Mayor Ken Morris reported two weeks ago, on the advice of the water department’s solicitor Vince Gurrera, the city sent Reed a letter. In the letter the deposit was returned, and Reed was asked to resubmit the application. Morris also said the city does not have an RV park application.
Porter wanted to know if the city could take action on the matter before the park was established.
“He hasn’t applied for anything, he hasn’t done anything, he hasn’t come to the city and told us he’s going to put trailers in,” said Morris. “We don’t know what’s going to happen with it, but nothing has been presented to us. So therefore we have no action to take.”
Reed will need to submit plans, blueprints, an application and other paperwork with the city, requesting permission to put a mobile home park on the land.
Once the application is submitted the council and water board will review the application and determine the appropriate action.
Reed was not at Monday’s council meeting, but he attended the Nov. 20 water board meeting. The water board put Reed’s service request in the minutes, and said they will not be taking action on the matter until the city council had a chance to meet. They also said they will fax the information Reed submitted to Gurrera.
Reed was called after the meeting and said he would prefer not to comment at this time.
In other action, council:
— Approved general fund receipts of $105,743 and agreed to pay bills totaling $98,716.
— Approved building fund receipts of $2,458 and agreed to pay bills totaling $1,043.
— Accepted the resignation of City Clerk Sandy Parkins.
— A resident attended to address council about a growing hole at the bottom of their driveway. Morris told the resident the city will look at it and address it.
— Went into executive session for litigation matters, Adams advised the council on legal matters. No action was made and Adams left after the executive session not returning to the meeting.
— Police Chief Todd Murray reported the three Chester Police Officers who participated in No Shave November raised approximately $800. The money will be added to the funds raised by the Hancock County Sheriff Department, New Cumberland Police Department and Weirton Police Department and sent to Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital. The fund raising worked by asking officers to raise a minimum of $100 in lieu of shaving for the month of November.
–Chester Event Coordinator Susan Hineman reported this year’s Festival of Trees raised $8,232 and it was the biggest year yet for the community event and she plans to bring it back for next year. Hineman also thank her volunteers for all their help.
–Approved Hineman’s request for $200 to buy decorations for next year.
— Building Manager Mike Dotson reported 2019 was the best year yet for use of the city building.
The next meeting will be at 5 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2020.