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Downtown Elkins
By: Jeremy DeighanMay 7, 2024

City of Elkins Launches Survey to Gauge Interest in Creating a PODA

Elkins W. Va., May 7, 2024: The City of Elkins is inviting residents, business owners, and stakeholders to participate in a survey to weigh in on the potential establishment of a Private Outdoor Designated Area (PODA) within the city.

PODAs are designated areas where patrons can carry alcoholic beverages in specially marked containers from participating bars and restaurants to other participating establishments within the PODA boundaries. This initiative, enabled by West Virginia Legislature through Senate Bill 534 in 2023, gives municipalities the ability to create these designated areas. Morgantown, Charleston, and Huntington have all implemented PODAs.

No business would be forced to participate or allow people with drinks into their store, bar, or restaurant, and PODA rules would not allow BYOB open containers. The PODA only allows consumption of beverages obtained from a participating business, in an approved PODA container.

The aim of the survey is to gather public opinion on the implementation of a PODA in Elkins and its potential impact on the community. This is the first phase to seek feedback on various aspects such as interest levels, potential benefits for businesses, preferred operating hours, and desired locations for the PODA.

No decision has currently been made to establish a PODA, and any proposal to do so must go through the normal committee/council ordinance process. If council’s Rules & Ordinances Committee recommends that council take this matter up, there will be additional opportunities for public input.

The City of Elkins encourages everyone in the Elkins area to take part in the survey and share their opinion to help shape the future of the community.

Take the PODA Survey here:
https://forms.gle/aeVXFtrZedQyV2pY7

Links to other PODAs implemented in the area:
morgantownwv.gov/703/Private-Outdoor-Designated-Area-PODA
charlestonwv.gov/poda
cityofhuntington.com/PODA

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