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City Prohibits Gas Activity

By Staff | Jul 20, 2011

New Martinsville has passed an ordinance that prohibits natural gas exploration and gathering activities within city limits and is in the processing of adopting another to prohibit the use of recreational vehicles as dwelling units.

The council held the first ordinance’s second reading and adoption during their regular city council meeting July 6. The ordinance says, “Whereas, the Common Council of the City of New Martinsville has determined that drilling for oil, gas, or other hydrocarbons within the corporate limits is a nuisance detrimental to the health, safety, and general welfare of the public with deleterious effects and that it is in the best of interest of the community to strictly prohibit such activities.

“Now, therefore, be it ordained by the common council of the city of New Martinsville that. . . the exploration, extraction, production, development, mining, leasing, and/or drilling for oil, gas, or other hydrocarbon substances or the conduction of any other operations including fracturing or re-fracturing wells, installation and maintenance of any production equipment and appurtenant structures or machinery proposed or intended to be used for or in connection with the production of oil and gas on any private or public property within the corporate limits is strictly prohibited and shall constitute a public nuisance.”

The ordinance will apply to all future such activity but cannot be applied to current operations, such as the county approved for their property in the area of Wetzel County Hospital and the 911 center.

The council also passed the first reading of another ordinance. This one would limit the use of recreation vehicles to 14 days per calendar year. Also, any recreational vehicle or tent on private property must abide by all setback and fire codes. The ordinance states its purpose is to preserve the community’s neighborhoods and recreational parks.

In order to be adopted, the RV ordinance must pass a second reading.

The next regular city council meeting is scheduled for Aug. 1 at 7:30 p.m.