By C.V. Moore
Representatives from the West Virginia Department of Transportation attended Fayetteville’s latest meeting to develop a comprehensive plan to guide future land use in the town.
Along with about a dozen townspeople, including Planning and Zoning Board members, attendees discussed land use, housing, and transportation issues.
Attendees gathered around a map of Fayetteville, broken down and color coded to correspond to how residents want to see their land used in the future. Categories included commercial, residential, agriculture, mixed use, green space and other categories.
Much of the town’s commercial district is centered around the Fayette Town Center strip mall, where Walmart, Lowe’s and other stores are located.
Looking to the future, there weren’t many ideas about where to locate future commercial spaces.
“We’re pretty well out of commercial,” said Fayetteville mayor Jim Akers.
One noticeable change to current land use on the map is a large purple mixed use area on the map, which reflects a new development by Cascade Properties on the historic Gaines estate along W.Va. 16.
Several large agriculture parcels on the map don’t reflect current use, said attendees, and will likely be changed to residential.
They also discussed potential areas for annexation — along W.Va. 16 north towards Beckwith and along W.Va. 16 south towards Oak Hill.
Using the map for reference, townspeople also noted areas problematic for their property maintenance — Tank Hill was mentioned — as well as areas that could be used for new housing.
The town is in the process of drafting an enforceable ordinance to try and rid the town of some of its dilapidated housing.
The discussion with the Department of Transportation (DOT) largely centered around signage on U.S. 19.
“One of the things the town needs to think about is where you’re going to go with signage,” said William Light of the DOT’s traffic engineering division.
“I think you have opportunities to do ads (on U.S. 19) but you need to decide where and how restrictive you’ll be.”
People discussed the need for a “gateway” from the four-lane that would better direct visitors into the historic downtown, but Light warned that much of the area is controlled by federal regulation, so signage opportunities are limited.
In addition, the fact that the New River Gorge National River can be accessed via Fayetteville Town Park is not evident from U.S. 19 or other signage in town.
Town Superintendent Bill Lanham raised the possibility of creating bikable trail links from Fayetteville to surrounding towns.
“We’d love to have a way to tie the communities together so you could make a day trip between the towns on the Plateau,” he said.
Another resident raised the possibility of a bike- and pedestrian-friendly access to the Fayette Town Center shopping mall from the Fazio Road area.
The next meeting to discuss Fayetteville’s comprehensive plan will be on June 24 at 6 p.m. in Town Hall. Attendees will discuss the first several chapters of the draft plan.
For more information, visit http://fayettevilleplan.wordpress.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/visionfayetteville.
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