The battle over legal fortune telling in Richlands continues - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

The battle over legal fortune telling in Richlands continues

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RICHLANDS, VA (WVVA) -

A business in Richlands was providing free tarot readings, until they were forced to stop. The town says current business code does not allow for fortune telling.

On February 13, town council held a public hearing. Many residents voiced their opinions both for, and against, fortune telling. The decision to rezone, allowing businesses to provide tarot readings, fell to the planning commission. After private discussions, the commission decided NOT to recommend a rezoning. Jerome Van Dyke of Mountain Magic says, "Well that night they had a meeting, and they decided it had failed, with a 3-2 vote, not to rezone the area. And that's all we were told."
While many Christians spoke up at the meeting... calling the fortune-telling a sin... others argued that the store, and the services they provide, are good for the local economy. Store owner Mike Mullins says, "800 hundred signatures on the petition. But it was completely ignored and overlooked, wasn't it?" Van Dyke adds, "Signatures of townsfolk, that wanted tarot reading rezoned; fortune telling rezoned. It was just ignored."
I went to Town Hall to speak with the mayor, Jan White. Though she wasn't in her office, I was told I could find her at her antique shop, the Emporium. Mayor White didn't want to go on camera, but she did tell me that Mountain Magic's next option is to submit an appeal to town council. That council will then take a look, and vote yes or no on it. As far as the legalities of fortune-telling, Mayor White says, each town has the right to zone "as they see fit".

The owners of Mountain Magic say their business has grown so much, they are in the process of moving into a larger building.
 

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