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Alley rezoned for Sheetz construction

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- South Charleston Council plans to give away an unused portion of an alley in Spring Hill to further pave the way for a Sheetz gasoline station and convenience store.

Council members gave preliminary approval Thursday evening to vacate a portion of an alley between McDonald Street and Park Avenue, where Sheetz wants to build. It would be the first Sheetz in Kanawha County. The company has 452 stores in a six-state region.

The property transfer would be the second action by the city to pave the way for Sheetz. The first came earlier this month when council re-zoned the lot from R-8 (residential) to C-6 (commercial).

Although Sheetz wants to build on the lot, FOG Inc. asked for the re-zoning.  FOG Inc. owned the lot at the time of the re-zoning, Mayor Frank Mullens said.

Hanan Ghannam incorporated FOG Inc. in 1992, according to Secretary of State Natalie Tennant's online business database. Hanan Ghannam is listed as vice president and secretary of the company and Mouwafak Ghannam is listed as president and treasurer.

The business database also lists Hanan Ghannam as having been an officer in Mouwafak A. Ghannam, M.D, Inc., which was voluntarily dissolved in 2003; as manager of Center of Town Carwash LLC; and as manager of the Coal Exchange Building, LLC - Huntington.

The proposed ordinance declares that the alley is not frequently used, is not needed for transportation, and is not used by the public generally for vehicular or pedestrian through traffic.

Furthermore, the proposed ordinance declares that the portion of the alley targeted for abandonment is of no value to the public or the city.

Therefore, the proposal says vacating the first approximately 219 feet adjacent and perpendicular to MacCorkle Avenue will limit the city's responsibility and relieve it of liability that could occur if it retained its interest.

The proposal goes on to say that vacating the portion of the alley will result in cost savings to the city, would not have a negative effect on services, and "would help enhance the development of future commerce in that area."

According to the proposal, the city "would consider any requests for quit claim deeds related to the abandonment of the portion of the alley," and would give Mayor Frank Mullens the authority to execute and deliver a quitclaim deed "to the owner or owners of lots abutting the abandoned portion of the alley from the lot line of the owner abutting the alley to the centerline of said alley."

A quitclaim deed can be used by a property owner to "quit" or terminate the right and claim to a property.

The lot is currently used for parking. It is on the Thomas Hospital side of MacCorkle Avenue, between a four-story office building and a two-story building occupied by Copley Wrecker Service. The alley provides a rear entrance for some homes but in the area near MacCorkle Avenue, it blends into the parking lot.

In other action, council agreed to purchase the property:

* At 316 Highland Ave. for $63,000. The lot is near several homes the city recently constructed.

* At 323 Fourth Ave. for $130,000 and at 321 Fourth Ave. for $120,000. The land may eventually be used for a new fire station.

Council also agreed to:

* Spend up to $221,000 for construction of a pro shop at Little Creek Country Club.

* Accept a $109,300 bid from North American Salt of Overland Park, Kan., for salt that will be used by the City Street Department. Finance Committee Chairman Jeff Means said North American Salt was the low bidder.

* Re-appoint Ralph King to the Sanitary Board.

In addition, council:

* Heard that the urban deer hunt in the city is underway. City Attorney Michael Moore said he bagged a doe. Moore said other people have participated in the hunt but he did not know how many deer have been harvested.

* Learned that about 200 people are expected to be in town this weekend for the West Virginia Chiefs of Police convention.

* Heard that the first South Charleston High School football game at Eagle Way was a success.

* Learned that construction of the new fire station at Weberwood is on schedule.

City Clerk Margie Spence thanked everyone who helped make the Mound Festival a success.

City Council's next meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3 on the second floor of City Hall.


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