The Clinic in 2014: A Year in Review

With the start of 2015, the Clinic is embarking upon its fifth year facilitating sustainable land use practices throughout West Virginia. In 2014, the Clinic facilitated over 50 public meetings and helped develop comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances while working with 18 local government clients. For example, the City of Wellsburg successfully adopted a comprehensive plan written by Clinic attorneys and students. The next step is for the Clinic to assist the Wellsburg Urban Redevelopment Authority with redevelopment plans for identified slum and blighted areas in the community.

In the area of land conservation, the Clinic worked with non-profits and government agencies on land transactions aimed at protecting over 25 different properties. For example, the Clinic helped permanently protect 665 acres of land which fronts six miles of the Gauley River. Through other projects, the Clinic’s work facilitated conservation of hundreds of additional acres of land. Working in five counties, legal services included title examinations, contract drafting, drafting of title opinions and negotiations.

In partnership with the Northern Brownfields Assistance Center, the Clinic also started a program to provide legal resources to local governments to address abandoned and neglected properties. The Clinic interviewed stakeholders such as building inspectors and municipal attorneys throughout the state to identify local concerns.