BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia contractor who was denied permission to build student housing now says he's going to turn the lot into a retreat for the homeless.

Raleigh County Planning and Zoning Commission member and contractor Kevin Reedy told The Register-Herald on Wednesday that he's got a permit to move a doublewide trailer on to the Beckley lot, which he'll furnish with utilities and open up for the city's homeless population.

He originally intended to build a duplex for student housing, pointing out WVU-Tech's student housing shortage, but the Beckley Common Council voted down his request for rezoning last month, a decision that he says left him "stunned."

Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold says that there are no homeless people in the city, and fears the shelter could "attract the wrong element."

___

Information from: The Register-Herald, http://www.register-herald.com