Pass a resolution giving priority to local businesses in property development decisions in Morgantown's downtown district

Pass a resolution giving priority to local businesses in property development decisions in Morgantown's downtown district

    1. Petition by

      Mountain People's Cooperative

Local businesses are the heartbeat of our community. According to the Institute for Local Self Reliance, local businesses pay higher wages, give back a larger portion of their surplus to local charities, seek to create value chains with other local business owners and are more conscious of the social and environmental well-being of their host communities. 

Unfortunately Morgantown's city government does not seem to understand the value of fostering a spirit of local entrepreneurship. In 2014, a new Sheetz, a Starbucks, a CVS and a Panera (corporations who have little interest in reinvesting in our community) will be invading our downtown. Something is broken in our city's planning policies that must be addressed!

The new Sheetz at 1012 University Ave will increase traffic and air pollution in a section of the city that has already been cited as failing air quality standards by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Beyond the poor aesthetics of a Sheetz, the city is at risk of losing important federal funding if the air pollution (ie. traffic) issue is not remediated soon, yet current planning decisions are completely incongruent with the reality of the situation.  Is there a need for a new gas station when we already have seven within a two mile radius? 

The new Starbucks at 419 High St. and the new Panera Bread at the top of High Street will take business away from our locally owned coffee shops and bakeries in the downtown district including but not limited to The Grind, Café Mojo, Slight Indulgence, Blue Moose Café, New Day Bakery, The Cupcakerie. The consequences of this loss are immense. Not only as wages are lost and local suppliers suffer but also as the character, atmosphere and ethos of our city are compromised. 

The new CVS at 493 Spruce St is a travesty. The locally owned Waterfront Family Pharmacy right off of the rail trail will suffer a business loss. Mountain People's Co-Op one of the longest operating local businesses in the city (owned by the local community) will be overshadowed as a local grocer option as well.

These are but a few examples of the local planning issues that we face as concerned city residents. Please lend your name to this petition if you care about our Morgantown local business community and want see policy changes in our city governement. 

Thank you

Pass a resolution giving priority to local businesses in property development decisions in Morgantown's downtown district

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 1,000 signatures
    2. Mayor Selin attends Mountain People's Board Meeting

      Last Wednesday Mayor Selin attended our board meeting. We were pleased to welcome her into our quorum and further discuss this petition, the reaction it has received and Morgantown's changing downtown business landscape. We plan to continue our efforts by submitting an official petition to her and her colleagues on city council as defined in the Municipal Charter on Petitioning. The ordinance will draw on what has been done in other cities around the country to limit 'formula businesses' in the central business district. In order for our ordinance to come to the floor, we need to gather 1,662 signatures from Morgantown registered voters (10%). Thanks to all who have signed here, please stay posted in the coming weeks to help us succeed in these efforts as we transition to a paper signature campaign.

    3. Reached 750 signatures
    4. Channel 12 news highlights our petition

      The city manager wants to be careful that an ordinance "does not discriminate". We'd be more than pleased to start a conversation with him and the rest of the council to that end. Who is being discriminated against when those who cannot afford to pay have no voice?

    5. Reached 500 signatures
    6. Read today's article in the D.A.

      New downtown Sheetz development stirs up controversy among local businesses

      Prior to Sheetz's purchase, The Mountain People's Co-op also looked into buying the real estate, since the University bought the Co-op's property. While some in the downtown area see the changes as positive, coordinators at the Co-op have decided to petition the development.

    7. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Jennifer Wilkerson SANDPOINT, ID
      • about 1 month ago

      I'm moving to Morgantown and want to shop and buy from local businesses. Not Corporations!

    • Ann Warren ARTHURDALE, WV
      • about 1 month ago

      To keep locally owned businesses thriving in downtown Morgantown! Look at what Wal Mart has done to our economy!!! Keep the 'Mom & Pop' stores alive!

    • Joan Benz BROOKFIELD, CT
      • 2 months ago

      My daughter is a freshman at WVU and I would like her to have the benefits that small local businesses bring to great university towns. Whenever possible we shop at non-chain stores, but it is increasingly difficult as large chain corporations encroach on our Main Streets. Please pass this resolution - without it your college town feel will diminish.

    • David Parker COLUMBIA, SC
      • 3 months ago

      As a city resident I prefer local businesses prioritized over chains. Morgantown needs more local businesses. Our food scene (for example) is horrible.

    • Lisa Biebel FAIRMONT, WV
      • 4 months ago

      Morgantown has a special vibe created by its unique shops and downtown businesses. Local business is the heartbeat of downtown and it would be a shame to see that change


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