By Jean A. Flanagan
Moorefield Examiner –
For the third time, Tim Malcolm appeared before the Moorefield Council to lobby for the three parking spaces in front of his store. The Moorefield Council met on Tuesday, May 6.
Malcolm’s Grocery is located at the corner of Winchester Avenue and South Fork Road. It is also adjacent to railroad tracks utilized by the South Branch Valley Railroad. State law dictates no parking within 50 feet of the last rail of a track.
Presenting deeds that date a store at that location from the late 1800s, Malcolm said the grocery has been in his family more than 60 years. “My father bought the store in 1951,” he said.
“The problem is, there is nothing here that says parking is grandfathered,” said Councilman Doug Mongold.
Malcolm has consistently said if the parking in front of his store is taken, his business will be adversely affected. “If I lose those three parking spaces, the store will likely go bankrupt,” he told the Hardy County Commission earlier Tuesday.
“There has never been a vehicle hit by a train on my side of the road. Traffic has not increased, it has decreased. If there’s been no accidents, it’s a non issue.”
Malcolm’s Grocery has a parking lot on the southeast side of his store, but said that is inconvenient for his customers. In addition, Malcolm has permitted the Emmanuel Episcopal Church to use the lot, both on Sunday and on Wednesday, when the church provides a free lunch program. “If I lose the three spots in front, I’ll have to go to the church and tell them to stop parking there,” he said.
“The store has sentimental and historical value,” said Councilman Scott Fawley. “The problem is we can’t supersede state code.”