Kingwood Council refuses to reopen section of street; man says he may sue

KINGWOOD — Kingwood Council refused a request Tuesday to reopen a portion of a street, despite a man’s comments that he might sue if they didn’t act.

Rick Marrara said council erred in 2004 when it abandoned a portion of Kingwood Avenue that runs through what is now a parking lot parallel to W.Va. 26, by a building that houses Fox’s Pizza and Houses and More Real Estate.

“I came here to try and work with council before we get into any legal aspect,” Marrara said.

The land in question is a little more than 7,000 square feet, Marrara said.

Marrara said in 1998 his father and others on Kingwood Avenue sued the city and the Milne family, who then owned Foodland (now Shop ‘n’ Save), because a portion of the avenue was blocked. They won their suit, Marrara said.

Later the city abandoned the portion of Kingwood Avenue through the parking lot.

That was “an unlawful taking and a violation of constitutional rights,” Marrara said. “What I’m trying to do is get you people to reverse it without getting into a legal battle.”

He said the abandonment was never recorded at the courthouse. Marrara said he heard a company is going to take the piece of property.

“I don’t think this is the proper venue to bring something up, because we can’t just take something back and give things back and forth,” Councilman Mike Lipscomb said.

Marrara said they could negotiate with the new owner. Lipscomb said if they did take the land back, the current owner might sue them.

“It’s not his property. It was taken unlawfully,” Marrara said, estimating the value of the property at $100,000.

Recorder Bill Robertson asked why it took 14 years for Marrara to bring the matter up? Mayor Jean Guillot said he didn’t think it was something council wanted to do.

“This is going to get expensive, I can tell you. It could cost the city a lot of money,” Marrara warned.

Council also:

  • set 5:30-6:30 p.m. Oct. 31 for trick or treating in town. The town Halloween party will follow at 7 p.m. at the Craig Civic Center.
  • answered Police Chief Charlie Haney’s questions about when it is appropriate to ticket property owners who received clean up notices under the junk ordinance. Council said by the time notices are referred to city police, property owners have been notified several times and tickets are in order.
  • set a 6 p.m. Sept. 25 meeting at the Craig Civic Center to honor 2018 Kingwood Citizen of the Year Mary Walker.
  • was asked by the mayor to refer a matter to the Planning Commission. Guillot said subdivisions are being built with roads that don’t meet city standards, so that the city will not accept them. But property owners don’t always know about this and wonder why their road isn’t plowed and maintained by the city, Guillot said.
  • Lipscomb said he would bring the matter up to Planning.

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