During a brief Greenbrier County Commission meeting Tuesday evening, the commissioners voted to approve a request from Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation President Andrew Hagy to join the West Virginia Hardwood Alliance Zone (WVHAZ). The commissioners were given a preliminary presentation for the proposal by WVHAZ President Robbie Baylor at the Feb. 13 meeting.
With the vote of approval, Greenbrier County will join nine other WV counties to promote the hardwood manufacturing and processing industries. Pocahontas County will follow suit, and likely Fayette County will also, Commissioner Woody Hanna said. The nine member counties are Barbour, Grant, Hardy, Lewis, Preston, Randolph, Tucker, Upshur and Webster.
Hanna said the county will pay a $3,000 annual fee for the WVHAZ membership for this year and next, and thereafter, the annual fee will drop to $500. “This is money well-spent,” he said.
In other business:
- Meredith Whited was approved for a part-time position in the Circuit Clerk’s office.
- In the Public Comments period, Greenbrier County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) members Jack Tuckwiller and board President Blaine Phillips expressed concerns they had for what they called “poor communications” between the county’s planning commission and the BZA.
Tuckwiller said, “Precedents are being set by spot zoning ordinances created by the planning commission, which he termed “manipulations.” These rezoning interpretations are unclear, he said, creating issues and frustrations. “I’m just trying to get all my Ts crossed and Is dotted,” Tuckwiller said.
Phillips said that in the past, the board usually handled setback allowances and minor variances, but “over the past couple of years, we’re seeing more complex things come before us. Problems are arising that are cumbersome and vague.” The BZA’s job is to interpret the code. Communications with the planning commission would benefit both departments.
“The BZA is a mess and has been for years,” said Commissioner Lowell Rose, who sits on the Planning Commission. That body is currently working on cleaning up the county’s comprehensive plan. he said. “The planning commission is now doing a total rewrite on the zoning ordinances.”
President Hanna suggested the BZA board attend the next planning meeting to keep the lines of communication open.