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Commission takes the high road

Debbie RolenStaff Writer

July 11, 2012

A routine meeting for the Logan County Commission took a turn onto a road access dispute Monday afternoon.


Attorney K. Brian Adkins submitted a petition to the commission on behalf of Richard and Alesa McCoy to close an unused road. West Virginia code 713-H says the county commission can authorize such a closure.


Adkins said the McCoys own the area surrounding the right side and head of the road. He told the commissioners to look at the survey with the petition, which illustrates the land, parcels 12.1, 12, 14 and 13. The road terminates at the McCoy property and only they need access from the 25 foot right- of-way. Currently, there are people traveling the road who have no reason to be there and the McCoys want to gate the property to protect themselves and their property.


Three owners were identified as living on the left or south side. Letters were sent out to the landowners and an advertisement ran in the Logan Banner on June 20, 15 days before the hearing so they could voice opinions and concerns.


Two of the property owners took advantage of the opportunity to speak to the commissioners, Ronnie Browning and Sharon Nelson, who spoke on behalf of her mother Judy Browning.


Browning, who owns lots five and six, said the property has had a fence and gate for about two years. Browning said he has lived there all his life and the road had never been used for travel per se. He sees no benefit to closing the road and objected to the McCoys gaining a piece of property approximately 25-foot wide, 138-foot long. He also expressed concern about future owners if the McCoys ever sell the property and gave examples of less than desirable property use that could occur.


Nelson’s mother owns lots seven and eight. She said the property has been in her family for over sixty years. She also sees no benefit to closing the road and is concerned about access her mother’s property from the front if the creek on the other side overflows its banks. The lots are currently vacant, but access may be necessary in the future.


Mrs. McCoy voiced her reasons for wanting to close the right-of-way off. She talked about drug activity taking place and having to avoid it. According to her, she and her husband have been threatened with bodily injury and destruction of property. She also said she and her husband maintain the right-of-way, and anyone parking at the end of it blocks access to her property. She noted that everyone still has access to the main road.


Commission President Danny Godby questioned ownership of one of the lots and the county attorney checked property records and found Christopher Adkins now owns the property and was not notified. In order to be fair, the new property owner must be notified at least 15 days before the August 20 meeting to offer his opinion in the matter.


The matter will be resolved at the August 20 meeting, which will be held at 3 p.m.