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Wood County Commission may take another look at video lottery ordinance

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 5:24 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The Wood County Commission next week may revisit its ordinance regulating video lottery businesses.

The commission Thursday approved a variance allowing a video lottery business in Wiliamstown. But that issue, and a turnaround on an approval on a previous business, has prompted owners of other businesses to question its past decisions on allowing video lottery establishments.

There is concern the ordinance, approve in 2004, is outdated.

”There was concern these new businesses would attract an unsavory clientele,” Commission President Blair Couch said after Thursday’s meeting. “And I think, over time, we’ve realized that’s not the case. They drive in, they drive out; they don’t tend to spend much time in the community.”

The commission has approved most of the requested variances before it, but, earlier this year, it reversed a decision granting a variance for a video lottery business, also in the Williamstown area.

In the situation before it Thursday, the commission waited a week before approving it while determining if there was any opposition from nearby homeowners. That, even though there were few homes nearby the proposed site.

Couch said it heard from two homeowners opposed to it.

The business is slated to be beyond the 1,000 feet restriction the county requires. West Virginia law only requires a 300-foot distance.

Williamstown City Council took no position on whether the business should be approved, according to County Administrator Marty Seufer, who also is a member of Williamstown’s council. Seufer said he did not participate in the hearing where the business was discussed.

The commission, when it takes up the ordinance, could revise it or remove the ordinance altogether.

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