Large buildings such as the two schools can become safety hazards and eyesores if left vacant for long periods of time, Davis said.
She believes it would be better to have the buildings redeveloped than demolished.
The ordinance, if passed, also would encourage the development of former church buildings, Davis said. An example is the former Church of the Good Shepherd in Kanawha City, she said.
A day care currently operates in the building. However, Davis' ordinance would help promote future development of the building and prevent it from falling into disrepair if the day care were to close.
Charleston developer Chris Sadd, who is working to convert the former Glenwood Elementary School into senior housing, said he was in favor of the plan.
The project on the West Side is slated for completion by September, Sadd said.
Since he was changing the use of the building from a school to a multifamily dwelling, he had to apply to have the parcel rezoned.
And although his efforts were successful, he said he had no guarantees throughout the process.
"The mayor was behind getting this done and so were the local councilmen," Sadd said.
A denial of the rezoning request could have meant the property would not have been developed, Sadd said.
The proposal to allow the Board of Zoning Appeals to address proposals would greatly benefit local developers looking to reuse older buildings.
"It's really good to hear the city is taking steps to make this easier," Sadd said.
This proposal shows developers the city is serious about having properties reused, he added. Having to jump through rezoning "hoops" can be very discouraging for developers, Sadd said.
Vriendt pointed out that city officials do not like spot zoning, when specific parcels of land are rezoned.
The proposal to have any development plans addressed by the Board of Zoning Appeals is a much better approach, he said.
"I think this is a great idea," Vriendt said. "It will allow for the adaptive reuse of the property, and it offers safeguards for the neighborhoods."