West Virginia Supreme Court rules in favor of Calvary Baptist Church in city rezoning dispute

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Supreme Court has ruled a city of Morgantown decision to deny rezoning a parcel of property along Borroughs Street in the Suncrest area unconstitutional.

Local businessman Bernard Bossio agreed to buy the 1/2 acre parcel with access onto Burroughs Street from the Calvary Baptist Church if they could reclassify zoning from R-1 Single-Family Residential to B-2 Service Business District. Dating back to 2011, several other parcels had been rezoned to make way for The Wine Bar, Suncrest Pub and Burroughs Place.

In the rezoning denial, the city said in order to plan for a population increase of 40,000 by 2040 areas of the city had to be set aside for single-family development. This parcel was designated as an area of “neighborhood conservation.”

Justice Margaret Workman said in here ruling, she said after hearing testimony regarding differences between the planning reports of 2016
and 2018, concluded that the city “looked for reasons to deny” the Church’s application and interfere with the “current neighborhood scheme.”

Workman has ordered the city to change the classification of the parcel.

The church planned to use the proceeds from the sale of land to fund sanctuary renovations.