Finance committee rejects Wyndemere plan

PARKERSBURG – A motion for the city to pay $34,000 toward the repair of the streets of the Wyndemere subdivision died for lack of a second Tuesday in council’s finance committee meeting.

Officials say the topic is not dead, however, and will likely come before full council for a vote in the near future.

Mayor Bob Newell requested the funds, saying the subdivision had been annexed by Parkersburg in 1999, but the streets were not finished by the developers and were never annexed.

Newell said the money would be matched by Gregory B. Krivchenia II through his K2 of West Virginia LLC, and the remaining cost would be covered by the Wyndemere Homeowners Association.

Newell specified the money from the city would finish up the project and would only be available after the streets are dedicated by council.

Following a nearly hour-long committee meeting Tuesday, council member Roger Brown made a motion to approve the city funds, but the motion died for lack of a second.

Newell said other Parkersburg subdivisions in similar situations have had their streets dedicated and repaired by the city.

“I think to deny any citizen what we’ve done for others is inherently wrong,” Newell said.

A major sticking point for council members was a closed gate which sits at the entrance to Wyndemere Drive off of 12th Street in Vienna. There is no gate at the end of Wyndemere Way which connects to College Parkway in Parkersburg.

Newell said the gate and the portion of road it occupies would not be dedicated by the city and would function the same as a wall or other barrier.

Attorney Ginny Conley, representing K2 of West Virginia, said the gate improves safety along the roads because it discourages motorists from speeding through the subdivision.

Residents of Wyndemere said the gate has helped them eliminate issues with damage to the road, trash and even vandalism, by discouraging through traffic.

But some council members balked at the idea of the gate remaining.

“I’d like to put a gate at the end of 16th Avenue, if it doesn’t constitute a gated community,” Councilwoman Nancy Wilcox said. “We have children who play along those roads too, so it’s a safety issue.”

John Migliore, president of the Wyndemere Homeowners Association, said no gate, no deal.

“I was told under no circumstances were we to open that gate,” he said, adding the homeowners might seek to remove the subdivision from Parkersburg if no deal on the roads can be reached.

Newell said the only complaints the city receives about the gate are from those who want to use the Wyndemere roads as a shortcut between Parkersburg and Vienna.

“I don’t know why we want to create a shortcut to Vienna for people to spend money,” he said. “If this was a shortcut to Patriot Plaza (in Parkersburg), I might think a little differently.”

Several times during the meeting, city attorney Joe Santer said council was confusing the issue by focusing on the gate.

“Forget the gate. Forget 12th Street,” Santer said. “They are asking the city to take the streets. Either way, that gate stays. It is not a gate issue.”

Santer said as long as one end of the street remains open, the street meets the definition of public access.

“That would give you restricted access. It does not eliminate access,” he said. “You are not going to decide whether there is a gate or not. It is their gate.”

Committee chairman and council member John Rockhold said an issue that dies in committee is not actually dead. The city charter requires items brought before council to be sponsored by a committee, which indicates at least three committee members approved the item, or have three individual council members act as sponsors.

Newell said he believes despite the committee’s lack of a vote, he has the sponsors to bring the motion before council.

“I think the entire city council should have the chance to vote on this and that is exactly my intent, to find sponsors to bring this before council,” Newell said.