Globally Social: New Media and Policy Change
Colleen McEdwards
Posted by colleenmcedwards On May - 6 - 2013 0 Comment

A petition to rezone an “illegal lot” was denied at a Fayette County meeting on Thursday.

Rezoning was a popular topic at Thursday’s meeting, as the commissioners approved the requests of two other petitioners for the rezoning of their properties.

“Give us the peace to know that if anything happens, we’ll be taken care of,” said Fayetteville local and “illegal lot” owner, Brenda Moody.

Brenda Moody was the only one to speak in favor of her husband, Gregory Moody’s petition to rezone their property. According to the Moodys, they found out that they owned an illegal lot years ago. They have been searching for legal recourse for about four years.

According to Dennis Davenport, attorney for Fayette County, “The lot is too small. It’s 2.4 acres in a five acre zone.”

The Moodys purchased their home as a foreclosure and therefore had no control over how large the property would be or where it would be built. The Moody’s property was built in a zone that forced it to be considered illegal. Because the property is considered illegal, the Moodys do not have the same rights and privileges granted to most homeowners.

“If something happens to this property, we cannot rebuild,” said the Moody’s real estate agent, Lynette Bowles.

Despite the fact that the Moodys have been paying property taxes and home owner’s insurance on their property since 1987, they may not rebuild their home if something should happen to it.

Brenda Moody made a heart-felt plea to the commissioners, asking them to provide a solution to her and her family’s problem.

“My husband Greg and I work, live and worship in Fayetteville,” said an emotional Brenda Moody. “We want Fayetteville to continue to be our home.”

After allowing Mrs. Moody to move in favor of the petition, Commissioner Steve Brown asked if anyone was opposed to the petition. No one in the crowd of 45 Fayetteville locals expressed any opposition. However, Attorney Dennis Davenport reminded the commissioners of the legal ramifications of Mr. and Mrs. Moody’s request.

“You all must follow certain guidelines,” said Davenport to the board of commissioners.

Davenport reminded the board of six commissioners that an attempt to change certain ordinances and guidelines in this case would cause them to have to make some difficult decisions in the future. He expressed his concerns about the types of decisions that may come to play if they start negating laws and ordinances. According to Davenport, doing so could lead to cases that would go beyond the range of board’s authority.

After closing the floor to the public, the commissioners prepared to vote on the petition. Before voting, Commissioners Steve Brown, Charles Oddo, David Barlow and Randy Ognio voiced their empathy for the Moody’s situation.

“We have to uphold the laws and ordinances,” said Barlow, “despite how we personally feel.”

“If we could vote with our hearts, there would be a different outcome,” said Oddo. “But we must vote with our heads.”

Commissioner Brown expressed his sorrow and elaborated on Davenport’s concerns. He discussed the fact that Fayetteville has civil courts to handle matters like illegal lots and the legality of rezoning certain properties and suggested that the Moody’s take their case to be solved in one of these courts.

After expressing their deepest sympathy and regret, five of the six commissioners voted against the petition. Commissioner Allen McCarthy abstained.

With the denial of their petition, the Moody’s left discouraged, but grateful.

“We thank you all for allowing us to raise a petition against this injustice,” said Mr. Moody. “With God on our side, I know we will find a solution to this problem.”

After four years of prayer and searching for answers, the Moodys did not find a resolution at Thursday’s meeting.

However, two other rezoning petitions were granted in the same night. The petitions of Pauline Boyd and Michael and Linda Travis were both accepted. With very little participation from the locals, neither of the petitions received any opposition and only Mr. and Mrs. Travis received favor from Fayetteville local, David Brill.

Unlike the Moody’s petition, both Boyd’s and the Travis’ petitions involved legal lots. The legality of the lots made the job of the commissioners much easier. Since the ordinances and laws did not have to be compromised, there was a unanimous decision of the board of commissioners to approve both petitions.

“This was an area where we really did it right,” said Commissioner Brown, cheerfully.

After the early upset of the Moodys and the denial of their petition, the commissioners were more than happy to grant the petitions of the last two locals.

The night concluded with each item on the agenda’s public hearing being resolved with either an approval or denial. The commissioners then allowed the floor to be open to the public to discuss possible items for the next meeting.

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