WEIRTON - The Weirton Redevelopment Authority will seek city council's approval of the northern district development plan on Monday after hosting a public hearing on Tuesday.
Although there was little turnout at the hearing, there were no negative comments or concerns voiced about the plan that outlines a light industrial manufacturing development plan along the river.
Several years after a certified study showed North Weirton as a development district, the authority approved in May 2011 a corrective action plan to develop the area based on the study's recommendations for light industrial manufacturing development.
The northern district encompasses much of the ArcelorMittal property but the company, even though invitations have been extended, had not responded to requests for discussion. After findings showed the ground appeared to be more suitable for the industrial or light manufacturing development plan, the group voted unanimously to send an approval of the industrial development plan for the district to its consulting firm.
According to Mark Zatezalo, authority chairman, the public hearing on Tuesday was the final step before the plan is presented to council for approval. He said the city's planning commission recommended approval of the plan several months ago, and the authority is hoping to nail down the outlined plans for the north end of the city sometime next week.
"There are big changes coming to North Weirton," said Zatezalo. "We want to be ready to work with anyone who has an idea for the redevelopment of that region."
Zatezalo said the plan was designed to be flexible while adhering to several redevelopment objectives. He said the amount of land encompassed in the Riverport Technology Plan ranges at about 2.5 million square feet of land that has been for sale for quite some time.
The plan, Zatezalo said, does not have specific development goals, but he hopes to be able to work with developers to see manufacturing jobs brought to the area. He said transportation will also play a major role in the redevelopment of the area because river access and railyards are already in place.
"Whatever we do, transportation needs to be tied into the plan," he said noting the northern district will eventually be tied to the southern district.
Authority members also spent time in executive session with Pat Ford, executive director of the Business Development Corp, of the Northern Panhandle, discussing appraisals of several properties in the northern district. Costs for the appraisal were estimated at $3,000, but the authority was charged $1,500.
Weirton City Council will meet on Monday at 7:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Weirton Municipal Building in the Council Chambers.