Thursday, June 29, 2006
Supervisors side with existing homeowners
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Board of Supervisors, in a 3-2 split vote, sided with seven existing homeowners on Kathleen Road after developer Warren Callicutt and his attorney asked for access to a property through a homeowner’s lot. Two homeowners had offered to give a right-of-way for Callicutt’s subdivision plan which is located behind the existing homes.
This is the second visit to the boardroom by Callicutt, who wants to buy and subdivide 109 acres owned by John Vines’ family members.
Callicutt asked the zoning board for the right to extend a 40-foot right-of-way to the property to the 60 feet required width by purchasing 20 feet of right-of-way from a lot owner situated at the end of Kathleen Road. Another lot owner offered to sell Callicutt 60 feet of right-of-way, but later retracted the offer.
Callicutt cited the Moore Plantation subdivision which he said was recently featured on the cover of a magazine.
“Marshall County is starting to move along and people are starting to talk about us,” Callicutt said. “Used to be Marshall County was a place overlooked, but, more and more, people are taking a look. One house alone will bring in more tax than the entire land (109 acres).”
John Vines, speaking for his relatives who collectively own the land, told the board the property was inherited by his wife’s family and a cousin who have a right to make their land profitable.
“It’s a basic American right to sell your property and maximize its value,” Vines said. “It brings in $1,800 a year, but we pay $1,600 in property taxes.”
He said the property values would only increase, if subdivided.
“I don’t see how anyone loses in this deal,” Vines said.
Zoning director Conway Moore expressed the recommendation of the zoning board who voted against letting Callicutt purchase 20 feet of land through an established lot to make the width wide enough to meet county standards.
“The board felt it would be bad development because you are wanting to build a road across this old subdivision lot,” she said. “I think it’s not taking care of your citizens.”
She said the zoning board has voted to not recommend the right-of-way request.
Callicutt said it is the least expensive way to get to this land-locked property - that to buy right-of-way from another land owner would add too much to the cost of the development to make it work.
Supervisor Willie Flemon asked if granting the 20-feet extension of right-of-way would interfere with existing subdivision covenants.
“I’m supervisor in that district,” said Keith Taylor. “I think Warren and Andy (Callicutt) have made Marshall County look better (with their land developments) but I think the people still like living in the country. Nobody has a problem in that subdivision with property behind it.
“I find no person in the subdivision who wants them to use that route. We’re disturbing their driveway; basically that’s what it is. I’m for what he’s doing for development but I’m not willing to sell out to the people who live on Kathleen.
There are 28 homes in the existing Pines Acres Subdivision on Kathleen, according to Debbie House, one of the residents. Each lot is five acres, she said.
Taylor motioned to uphold zoning’s recommendation and the motion passed 3-2 with supervisors Ronnie Bennett and George Zinn III voting against the motion.
“Unfortunately, there are always going to be people who object,” Callicutt said.
“With all due respect, you don’t drive down that road every day,” Taylor said. “That is their home. I work for people who (already) live in my district. That’s my first responsibility.”
Callicutt said he had searched the records and found nothing in the covenants to prevent access through a homeowner’s lot, the only access, he said, except through the Ingram property.
“It is not feasible to build a mile-long road to get to it (via Ingram’s land),” he said. “This was the original access and way for (farming) equipment to get in there. I thought if we could go straight in, it might solve a problem.”
Callicutt said he could sell anywhere from 41 to 50 two-acre lots on that land.
Flemon expressed concern that the transport of construction material through the subdivision would be disturbing to residents.
Callicutt said he wants a nice entrance, not the twists and turns that would be involved. Another resident had offered a 60 foot right-of-way nearer the entrance to Pines Acres, and those who entered would pass in front of only two or three homes on Kathleen, he said.
House said that lot owner had decided not to sell Callicutt 60-feet of right-of-way through her lot.
“I’m going to have to make a motion to deny this, as before,” said Taylor.
Supervisors then wanted to explain their voting on the motion.
Bennett argued the board would (continue to) have a problem with residents in opposition to development - that there was no other access to this acreage.
“Yes there is, they just have to buy it,” said Taylor.
“It’s bad judgment to deny it in my opinion,” Bennett said.
Callicutt reiterated it is too expensive to build another road.
“There will always be some objection,” Bennett said. “But there are five supervisors at this table who have to look at what’s best for Marshall County.”
Zinn argued that there is already existing access used by farmers for years - that the proposed development would generate tax revenues for the county.
“I don’t think (the motion to deny) is in the best interests of the county,” he said.
Dixon wanted to explain his vote for the motion to deny.
“It is my sentiment, the same as Mr. Flemon, that zoning (board) turned it down,” he said. “I don’t like to go against another supervisor.”
Taylor then motioned to not take the matter up again since this was the second time to deny Callicutt his appeal of zoning’s recommendation.
Flemon seconded. The motion to not take Callicutt’s issue back up passed 3-2 with Dixon casting the deciding vote and Bennett and Zinn voting against the motion.
Not satisfied, Bennett argued that the existing 40-foot right-of-way was left for the land-locked landowners (the Vines).
“Zoning (board) cut his land out because it’s a pig trail,” he said. “I’d be upset, too, to try to build a road to it.”
Rezoning of Porter Property
Moore and Del Stover with the Industrial Development Authority brought before the board a request for rezoning of a property into Chickasaw Trails Industrial Park.
Dixon said he would be comfortable if a 150-foot buffer was set between the property and adjacent residential areas.
Virginia Armor, of the Cayce Road community, was the only resident present who voiced opposition to the rezoning.
“I tell you, I think he’s (Stover’s) got money on his brain and is not thinking about the people,” she said.
Armor said adjacent property owners did not get a notice of the matter when it was brought before zoning.
“They did!” said Moore.
“Everybody thinks that Cayce (community) is nothing. We think Cayce is something,” she said.
The rezoning of the property as industrial would put industrial enterprises between two subdivisions, Armor said.
“All we want now out there is a school,” she said.
Dixon explained his attendance at zoning when the matter was brought before the board, adding he typically does not attend zoning board meetings.
“My reason to be there was for people in my district,” he said. “Only three people showed up.”
Dixon said there is already some commercial zoning at the intersection of Cayce and Highway 302 and between Red Banks Road and North Hill, all the land is zoned commercial.
“Put it in your back yard,” Armor told Stover.
Stover said he would be happy to have industrial zoning next to his land.
“Remember, we voted for y’all,” Armor said adding a chuckle.
“We’re not going to make everybody happy,” said Dixon, “but we’re going to give in some in District 2.”
Moore advised the planning commission had recommended approval of rezoning of the Porter property.
“We’ve had one industrial realtor look at this site as a possible industrial site,” Stover added.
Dixon motioned to table the matter until supervisors have time to talk it over. The motion passed.
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