By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - An ordinance passed by the Mineral County Commission in response to some property owners’ request to regulate ATV traffic on their road was met with discontent Tuesday from the residents’ neighbors.
The ordinance was drafted in response to a "request of a super majority of property owners," according to commissioner Richard Lechliter, and prohibits the use of all types of ATVs on Wagoner Lane in the northeastern part of Mineral County.
Exceptions are made for vehicles being used in the process of road maintenance or emergencies.
The property owners in the area had complained about the noise, dust and danger created by the ATVs, which they said were being operated recklessly on the road.
Old Hayes Lane was originally included in the ordinance, but was later eliminated when it was determined it was a private road and not a state road.
The ordinance, which was passed 3-0 by the commissioners Tuesday, goes into effect immediately and will be enforceable by the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office, West Virginia State Police, and DNR Police.
Two residents of the area who opposed the ordinance, however, were present for Tuesday’s meeting and told the commissioners they didn’t think the law was necessary because "the issue has pretty much been resolved."
Saying the "boys" who were the apparent targets of the complaints had moved and were no longer riding on the road, the resident said she does ride her side-by-side on the road every day, but does so responsibly.
"I live on Hayes Lane; I go a short distance on Wagoner’s Lane to my garage," she said. "I’m the only one affected by this."
She also noted that, if the boys do wish to return home to ride, "I’m not going to tell my son he can’t ride on my property."
If they can’t drive the ATVs on the road, however, she said in order to get to her property they would have to bring them in on a trailer due to the new ordinance.
"If they have to trailer these 4-wheelers in to my property, the trailer would do more damage to the road than the 4-wheelers," she said.
Saying she doesn’t think the ATVs are an issue anymore, she said, "We just need to make sure everybody’s abiding and respecting each other."
Commission president Roger Leatherman asked the residents who had initially filed the petition if they had a response and they declined to comment.
With no further discussion, Lechliter made a motion to pass the ordinance, and Jerry Whisner seconded it.
The residents who filed the petition left the meeting at that time, but the opposing couple were still not happy.
"What is the appeal process on this?" the man asked the commissioners.
Lechliter told them if they felt strongly enough about it, they could "always hire a lawyer."
"It’s just not right," the resident said. "You have one person trying to tell you what to do on your property."
"Well, we had other complaints," Whisner responded.