WEIRTON - The city's zoning board of appeals agreed Tuesday to permit the owner of the old Pleasant Valley Country Club on Culler Road to turn the bar and restaurant into a professional office space.
Owner Larry Uram told board members he'd "like to be able to have the building open and functioning," making it clear he has no desire to reopen the bar or restaurant.
Uram said the change will impact just 2.039 acres of the 151-acre property.
CLUBHOUSE DISCUSSION — Culler Road resident Stephen Spiewak, with his back to the camera, told zoning board members Mike Simon, left, and Bob Kolanko Tuesday that turning the clubhouse and bar at the old Pleasant Valley Country Club into professional offices is preferable to leaving it empty and deteriorating. — Linda Harris
Steve Spiewak, one of his neighbors, said using the building for professional offices is preferable to keeping it boarded up and unkempt.
"It's his property and he has the right to use it as such and enjoy it as such," he said. "But we have to have some protections."
Spiewak said he'd like some assurance that the conditional use change won't be a stepping stone to more intrusive activities, like truck loading and unloading operations.
"You always worry what it's going to look like when it's done," he added. "I expect it to blend in the neighborhood. It's a well-kept up community."
Spiewak said the property in its present condition is an eyesore, with boarded up windows, gutters hanging and overgrown with weeds.
"If something can be done to the building that makes the neighborhood look a lot better, please do it," he said. "God bless!"
Chief Code Enforcement Officer Rod Rosnick said the conditional use permit that had allowed the country club to operate a bar and restaurant had lapsed since the building hadn't been used for 12 months or more, so the property reverted to residential uses.
Rosnick also said the conditional use granted Tuesday will apply only to the portion of the property housing the clubhouse/bar.
The board also approved a conditional use permit to allow Joe Gurrera to open a bed and breakfast at a Boley Street property that previously housed an assisted living facility.
Gurrera assured the board there was ample parking, pointing out he'd had nearly a dozen employees when it was used for assisted living. He also pointed out the property across the street is vacant, so it would have minimal impact on the neighborhood.
"Stays would be one or two days, maybe the weekend, that's it," he said. "There are only four houses on the street, and two of them are aware of what we're doing. They haven't voiced any concerns to me."
Board members voiced concern that some of Gurerra's overnight guests might be truck drivers who'd need space to park their rigs.
"I have 2.5 acres of ground there, and off-street (parking)," he replied.
Rosnick said the street is "pretty narrow, but it has parking on two sides."
The board also awarded a variance to Rob Underwood, 207 Arena Drive, to widen his driveway.