Public input session about vacant properties set for Tuesday in Charleston

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Charleston Land Reuse Agency wants to hear from residents.

A listening session is scheduled for Tuesday beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Goodwill Prosperity Center on Virginia Street West.

Charleston City Planner John Butterworth said the success of the Land Reuse Agency hinges on public input.

“We’ve made it a keystone emphasis of our work to listen to our residents and our citizens about what ideas they have to basically recycle vacant lots that are in our neighborhoods and how to put them back into productive use,” Butterworth said.

The CLRA has has been purchasing delinquent properties across the city in recent months. There are now about 70 properties on the list with Butterworth expecting the list to grow to more than 100 properties by the end of the year.

The goal is for the city not to keep those properties, Butterworth said.

“This is not the city trying to get into the real estate game and make money and that sort of thing. It’s really about taking property that the market cannot and will not address and bring it back to make sure it’s an asset to the community again,” Butterworth said.

Some of the property has been turned into recreation areas and in some cases an adjoining property owner has decided to buy an empty lot to expand their yard or build a garage.

Butterworth said hearing from residents about what they would like to see is a very important part of the process.

“We want to hear what people’s idea are. Not every idea is going to be practical on every single lot but those ideas we may find the right place or the right property where that really can be an asset to the community,” Butterworth said.

Those interested in attending Tuesday’s meeting are asked to RSVP to John Butterworth at [email protected] or 304.550.9567.