Pettyville residents want street closed

PARKERSBURG – Some Parkview Lane residents in Pettyville would like to close at least part of the street to keep all-terrain vehicles out and stop further road deterioration.

But Wood County officials are concerned due to the road’s location, closure might impact future development because it’s located near the Parkersburg Business Park off West Virginia 14. The road is near the site of the property which had been targeted for use by Luigino’s frozen food plant, plans for that facility never came to fruition.

Parkview Lane residents Gene Cumpston and Charlie Cayton told county commissioners on Monday there are problems with all-terrain vehicles using the street and damaging the road which is already deteriorating. County officials said the residents are seeking to close the middle portion of the road.

“There is only one other person besides myself and Gene out there that would be affected by the closing,” Cayton said.

Commission President Wayne Dunn, who attended the meeting by telephone because he is out of town, said he didn’t feel comfortable closing the Pettyville lane because of the possibility of future development in the area of the former Luigino’s site.

“If it’s sold, someone may want to use that for housing. If there’s another solution, in my opinion that would be better, if not, I’m OK with closing it,” Dunn said.

He suggested the possibility of erecting signage on the street and putting up some type of barricade to keep people out. “I’m just trying to keep it simple and that might work,” Dunn said.

Dunn said the area is an industrial site.

“Chances are good in the future for more development, then the problems would be eliminated anyway. It is hard to control, but you’re concerned for the front of your property and I understand that,” Dunn said.

“We’d have to check that out with the prosecutor and the Department of Highways about blocking it off. I don’t know if the county commission has the ability to put up a blocked road sign. The county doesn’t own any roads, we’d have to contact the DOH,” Commissioner Blair Couch said.

Couch said there is a state code procedure that must be followed if the residents want to close the street, or a portion of it. That procedure includes publishing a legal notice in the newspaper, notification by adjoining property owners and setting a public hearing on the proposal.

Cumpston and Cayton said they had not begun that process.

“You have to notify every adjoining property owner,” Commissioner Steve Gainer said, suggesting maybe the matter should be sent to the Wood County Planning Commission.

Cayton said there are other residents at the end of the street.

“But there is a different street that comes into it back there,” Cayton told the commissioners. “If we had authority to stop people from using it,” Cayton said, noting the road needs repaired and maintained.

“We need to get (Prosecutor) Jason (Wharton) in here to advise us,” Gainer said.

Dunn said blocking the street might change the habits of the ATV riders.

“If we could just block if off on both sides until the mudhole can be fixed, it’s a problem everyday, there’s a smell with that water, and mosquitoes are probably a health issue,” Cayton said.

“It is an unnecessary nuisance for the neighbors,” Dunn said, noting blocking off the street would be a “quick fix.”

“And time will take care of it as the Luigino’s site is developed,” he said.

“If we go through this process, it could be 2-3 months more to put up with it,” Cumpston said of the street closure proceedings.

The matter was continued to Aug 11.