UPDATE: Motions to change Route 19 Management Plan struck down in commission meeting

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Two motions to change and or do away with the Route 19 Corridor Management Plan did not pass in Friday’s Fayette County Commission meeting. 

Commissioner Tom Louisos put forward the idea in October saying the plan deters business development as it prohibits areas outside of city limits from being developed along the highway.

Many on the Zoom call during the meeting were in opposition to getting rid of the plan citing that it not only protects natural beauty but also is part of the county’s comprehensive plan which requires many events of public comment. 

Commission President Denise Scalph wondered why there was such a rush on getting rid of it in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

New River Gorge National River Superintendent Lizzie Watts was on the call and says because it took so much time to put the plan together that it would need time to take a closer look at amending it.

“So to rush it through I think is really a dangerous move,” she said in the meeting. “I think it takes time. It took time to plan it. It takes time to do the updates, and yes, maybe we are at that point that it needs to be updated, but I think that’s a public process. It’s public funding that would be used.” 

Louisos argued that the greenspace requirements are getting in the way of businesses who want to develop along the corridors, but he his motion was rejected by the other two commissioners.

Discussions on the comprehensive plan are expected to begin in May and June as they are required by state code to put a new comprehensive plan forward by October. 

Original Story (10/20/2020):

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Fayette County Commissioner Tom Louisos believes the U.S. Route 19 Corridor Management Plan is deterring business development in the county. 

This plan was adopted in 1998 as an amendment to the Fayette County Comprehensive Plan.

Louisos says he has problems with certain restrictions on Route 19, Route 60 and Route 16 within the plan where businesses cannot be within 1,000 feet of the highways if they are outside of city limits.

He wants to ditch the plan completely. 

“It’s either 1,000 feet or it cannot be visible from 19, so that’s a big stipulation that I think deters business from coming here,” Louisos said. 

The county commission will look over the plan, and then they will have to decide whether to call upon the planning commission to see what they can change. 

In the management plan, the restrictions were filed under an effort to keep the highways “beautiful.” In response, Louisos says there are other places where people can see scenic beauty.

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Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.