At the April 4 meeting of Marlinton Town Council, a group of individuals, led by spokesperson Frosty McNabb, approached council with a request for a variance to the town’s sign ordinance. The group was upset with council because the organization, which installed two large religious signs on Main Street in Marlinton, were cited for not following the town’s ordinance.
The ordinance states that billboard signs within town limits cannot be larger than 10’ x 10’ and the signs – displaying a religious message, the 10 Command- ments and a website address – are much larger.
The group asked council to approve a variance to the ordinance to allow the signs to remain in place. During the discussion, Marlinton Mayor Sam Felton and councilmember Scott Gibb recused themselves – Felton because he is a member of the organization and Gibb because he is the town code enforcement officer.
Town recorder B.J. Gudmundsson led the discussion and said she was against the variance because it would set a precedent for future issues and said the ordinances should be followed.
It was also noted that the website printed on the signs is commercial advertising.
The discussion grew heated as members of the group insisted there were other signs within town limits that were breaking the ordinance. Council said it had to focus on the issue at hand because the only signs on the agenda for discussion and/or action were those on the previously vacant lot on Main Street.
Council unanimously voted against granting a variance for the signs.
In other action, council approved:
• Region IV Resolution #9 – Smoke Testing Project.
• to pursue the Home Rule Initiative.
• to not pursue obtaining approximately three lots along the Greenbrier River from Sixth Street to the county property at ARC.
• an auction of unused town equipment.
• to hire a surveyor to survey along the river in Riverside. When the survey is complete, the information will be shared with town attorney Tom White.
Marlinton Town Council meets the first Monday of each month, excluding holidays, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the municipal building. The public is welcome to attend, and there is an option to attend virtually through Zoom.