Thomasville Times Enterprise


July 8, 2014

Commissioners address building permit appeal

THOMASVILLE — A real estate situation thought to have been settled six years ago resurfaced at a Tuesday Thomas County Commission meeting.

Chris Warren, owner of property in Heatherway Subdivision off U.S. 19 South, owns an R-1-zoned lot in the subdivision.

“The zoning office has said I cannot build a home on that lot,” Warren told commissioners. He added that he has been paying taxes for three years on the land, which is consistent with nearby lots.

Tom Lehman, a Cairo lawyer representing Warren, told the board his client was not requesting a rezoning request, but a variance. When the land was rezoned R-1 six or seven years ago, construction was limited to four lots, Lehman said.

“This lot was not approved as a building lot,” Lehman said, adding that it is discretionary with commissioners as to how they handle the situation.

“ ... You should look at the hardship it puts on the petitioner,” Lehman said. It is in the board’s and public’s best interest to grant the variance, he said.

Mike Stephenson, county manager, pointed out several weeks of negotiations in 2008 between landowners who wanted no more development and a developer who wanted maximum development.

Noting the number of lots approved for construction, Lehman said, “He wants one more,” in reference to Warren’s variance request.

Said Warren, “When I purchased it, the zoning was synonymous with the use,” Warren said.

Stephenson recalled “passionate disagreement” between the developer and residents of the subdivision.

Proper zoning does not automatically mean a building permit will be granted, the county manager told Lehman.

The petitioner owns property he can do nothing with, interjected Commissioner Mark NeSmith.

Said Commissioner Elaine Mays, “We had worked hard and fast on this. We thought it was something we needed to do.”

Mays suggested the three commissioners not on the board at the time of the 2008 ruling read minutes from the meetings at which the subject was discussed.

“ ... I think (Mr.) Warren is entitled to a prompt decision, a quick decision. ... Delaying is rejection,” Lehman told the board.

NeSmith said he would like input from nearby property owners.

Commissioner Ken Hickey recalled “grueling” meetings between property owners and developers, adding that the parties eventually acquired services of a mediator.

Hickey said he would like input from one property owner in particular.

The board unanimously approved a motion by Mays to notify nearby property owners that the subject will be discussed at a Tuesday, Aug. 12, board meeting.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.



Text Only

Jacob Price examines a Satsuma plant.

Local News
bwood rome

Pictured are (bottom row, from left) Rebecca Gilliland, Sara Claire Fennell, Frannie Wetherbee, Kelley Casanova, Paige Bramblett, Jordan Pidcock, (top row, from left) Julia Davis, Catharine Fennell, William Harrer, Will Carico, Maddie Eason and Haley Hinson.

Calendar of events
Local Sports
Business Marquee
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter


Do you believe Israel's invasion of Gaza is justified?

     View Results
NDN Video
LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'