Philippi Council moves forward with rezoning

Philippi City Council voted Tuesday to approve the Philippi Planning Commission’s recommendation on the rezoning of an area of town along Walnut Street, Church Street and High Street from residential to commercial.

The rezoning follows a request made by Shawn McPherson, who owns property in the affected area, to rezone his lot so that he can build the Battlefield Inn and Suites, a 20-room motel, on the property.

His request to build the business on a location at the corner of Church Street and Walnut Street met with controversy among residents.

Gordon Church, owner of the Covered Bridge Bed and Breakfast, located on the opposite corner of Church and Walnut Street across from the proposed motel, frequently voiced his opposition. Church’s home and business is currently listed for sale.

Before final approval can take place, an ordinance must be drafted by the city lawyer and read twice at Philippi City Council meetings. Mayor Jerry Mouser said that a public notice of the ordinance will be available for 30 days prior to proceeding with the required public hearing.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, City Council voted to give Philippi Public Library more than $2,000 to help the library match state funds it will receive for the coming fiscal year, city officials said.

Later in the meeting, an Alderson-Broaddus College student who is a New Visions intern requested approval for an art project in the city. The student proposed that murals be painted on the walls of some buildings along Railroad Street. City Council voted to approve the request, officials said.

Cayton Hill and Councilman Terrence Boyd were appointed to the Philippi Landmark Commission during Tuesday’s meeting, officials said.