Home Rule Board approves changes to Morgantown plan


ELKINS, W.VA. – The West Virginia Home Rule Board today unanimously approved six amendments to the City of Morgantown’s Home Rule Plan during a quarterly meeting in Elkins.
Morgantown city manager, Paul Brake, submitted the following amendment topics for consideration by the board:
  • Fire Marshals’ arson and explosives offenses arrest authority. The adopted ordinance grants fire marshals defined arrest powers related to arson and explosives.
  • Limit expansion of nonconforming agricultural, industrial, and manufacturing uses. Upon approval, the city will enforce its zoning code – including nonconforming provisions, equally as to all uses.
  • Waive certified mail requirement for zoning changes that alter density. The city wanted to use more cost-effective ways to ensure that residents are aware of proposed zoning changes including newspaper advertising, e-mail notices, website and social media posts as well as pubic access television.
  • Disposition of real estate without auction. Like initiatives in Fairmont and St. Albans, Morgantown will be able to sell real estate directly without auction in some cases and to consider the value of public services to be provided or economic development expected when determining a fair value for the lease or sale of property.
  • Expend money on schools by agreement with the governing agency. The city will work with the Monongalia County Board of Education as a partner on projects that utilize school facilities for the benefit of the public.
  • Eliminate property ownership requirement for park board membership. This initiative will allow residents who do not own real property to serve on the Morgantown Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners.
Secretary of Revenue Dave Hardy serves as chairman of the Home Rule Board.
“The City of Morgantown leadership team presented a well thought out plan that, in many cases, were developed to give citizens more of a voice in local government,” Hardy said. “Several of their proposals reflect a commitment to public discussion, input and access. Transparency in government, whether it is local or state, is vital to ensure that it’s working as it should be.”
Other active board members include: Mark A. Polen, Business and Industry Council Representative; Brian Jones, Professional Firefighters of West Virginia; Chris Fletcher, Morgantown Planning Director; and Wes White, West Virginia Development Office designee. Ex-officio board members are Senator Craig Blair and Delegate Gary Howell.

Contact Information

Lalena Price | Communications Director | 304.558.1017 | Lalena.D.Price@wv.gov