Are regulations ignored?
Are our city regulations and ordinances being ignored by the Athens city Planning Commission and mayor?
Only Harold Wales, city councilman, has stood to block the Piney Creek Development from continuing without adhering to the city zoning regulations and ordinances. The residents of Indian Trace subdivision and Woodland Road, in particular are aghast at the lack of leadership and direction shown by the city of Athens Planning Commission.
In 2007 when the Piney Creek subdivision was first established, the developer at the Town Hall meeting ensured the residents on Woodland Road that a berm would be built with nice landscaping to obscure the rear view of future houses. Since then the Piney Creek subdivision has changed ownership twice. This has created issues because the new owners don’t want to follow the regulations and have been in disagreement with the city of Athens over what should and should not be done.
Meanwhile, the Planning Commission has taken the low road and decided to not enforce the laws on the books and not require the current Piney Creek developer to adhere to the city engineer recommendation of the berm requirement.
Recently, the Planning Commission blocked residents from Woodland Road speaking out at an open town-hall meeting. The Planning Commission only allowed two people to speak then denied anyone else in the forum to speak. This is an example of government censorship when they are trying to force something on the community that is not wanted.
The residents of Indian Trace and especially Woodland Road residents are extremely vulnerable to a severe loss of property value due to the nonenforcement of city subdivision regulations and city ordinances. The residents of Woodland Road Indian Trace subdivision have signed petitions against granting any additional variances to the original plat until the city enforces the existing regulations to protect the citizens of Indian Trace and to avoid the establishment of a damaging precedent for future subdivisions planning to form in the near future.
Not a single person that signed the petition is against the Piney Creek subdivision, in fact, on the contrary, it is welcomed. However, what is not welcomed is the development to not be in standards with the current laws on zoning and ordinances. With an election coming up in the near future, it might be wise for elected officials to pay attention to how their decisions can affect registered voters.
Albert D. Barksdale