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posted: 6/10/2013 5:00 AM

Board put business ahead of residents

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On June 3, the Village of Wheeling board voted to approve a special use for a video gaming café to be located in a neighborhood shopping center.

This decision was reached after the petitioner's request was twice denied by the Wheeling Plan Commission and after area residents expressed concern over having an establishment that serves beer and wine and offers gambling within two blocks of an elementary school and in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

The first standard for special use states "The special use is necessary for the public convenience at that location."

The decision of the Plan Commission was based on the facts as presented, that the special use did not meet all of the standards for special use. It is a shame that three trustees and the village president failed to give the PC decision the respect that it deserved.

What made these individuals vote the way they did? They can't possibly feel that a gaming café is necessary for the public convenience. Did they fail to listen when Wheeling residents pointed out that the ingress/egress for this shopping center is via residential streets?

I heard and read promises to listen to residents and to practice transparency and open communication during the latest campaign for village trustee and village president. Residents were not listened to and none of us heard any reason for the majority decision. When is the board going to live up to its campaign promises?

I feel the trustees who voted to approve this special use put the wants of the business over the needs of the voting residents. This decision will change the essential character of the oldest Wheeling neighborhood.

Mary Papantos


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