If Marshall County gamesters want to shoot pool and play other games as they might have on Lewisburg's public square last year, they'll have to wait another month to see if a city panel will permit such another new business in town.
This time, it's to be on Second Avenue North next to a tattoo parlor and across College Street from a used car dealership and across Second Avenue from a custom auto shop, according to discussion in City Hall where the Board of Zoning Appeals met last week.
A game room opened on Lewisburg's public square last year, but it closed and there's another kind of business in the building on Commerce Street. The businessman who opened that game room owns the northeast corner of the square where his front lawn sign now suggests people honk their horns to complain about city government.
Second Avenue North is seen as a "gateway" to Lewisburg's downtown commercial district, board member Tom Sumners told Robert Crane and his wife, Judy, when they met Thursday afternoon with the quasi judicial panel that's authorized to grant variances from strict enforcement of zoning codes.
"We've worked hard to make the downtown attractive and that's a main corridor coming into town." Sumners explained
"In other words," Robert Crane replied to Sumners, "you're saying they may stop there and not come onto the square."
Sumners denied such an approach, but reported "a couple of people" called him about wanting a pleasant view for motorists driving to the square.
The "gateway" concept wasn't advanced by board member Robert Walker who explained he sees both sides.
"It's a good game," Walker said of pool. "I hate to keep somebody from doing something that has been done before...
The Cranes operated a business in the building at 450 2nd Ave North before Judy Crane's father became ill and they became his caregivers.
"I'd like to do something ... that's good for all," Walker said. "We need our other members."
BZA members Johnny Boyett and Jackie Aldridge were absent.
Now, the BZA is to meet March 10 at 4 p.m. in City Hall, 131 East Church St., to consider the use approval request for the proposed Game Room and Arcade at 450 2nd Ave North.
Elinor Brandon Foster chaired the BZA meeting on Feb. 24. She noted that young people play games on cell phones and other hand-held devices, and asked if a Game Room and Arcade might have enough business to survive.