August 15, 2006
Residential Zoning in County Now Requires 1800 sq.ft. Houses
During the last
BOC meeting on August 7, 2006, a controversial zoning ordinance
was on the agenda. Most people attending the meeting seemed
to think it only affected Turtle Cove as 3 board members,
including the President, as well as other Turtle Cove residents
attended the meeting. Those against the ordinance also referred
to Turtle Cove. However, any
residentially zoned parcel in the County must now abide
by the 1800 sq.ft. requirement for houses.
Rick Abbott was first to speak. He was
opposed to the elimination of the “lot of record
clause.” He felt this was just to keep minorities
from living in Turtle Cove, which brought a few groans and
comments (but NO gavel from Comm. Bernard). Mr. Abbott stated
that Comm. Bernard and Comm. Johnson should not vote on
the ordinance because of conflicts of interest—both
lived in Turtle Cove and Comm. Bernard’s wife was on the
Turtle Cove board and Comm. Johnson worked for the TC Board
up until a couple of weeks ago.
Brian Dempsey, lawyer for Mr. Abbott spoke
next. He stated the text amendment made the houses go from
1000sq ft to 1800 sq ft. He had Constitutional objections.
He asked, “ Who is behind
this amendment?” He asked for the application
that requested this amendment through open records, but
he found that no such application
existed. He also asked for meeting
minutes through Open Records and found nothing in any P&Z
minutes or BOC minutes where this idea had ever been discussed.
He stated, “There is not a valid application.” He
further reiterated that this would be an unconstitutional
taking of property and would render septic systems unfeasible
on these properties. He finished with, “If people can’t
build on vacant lots they become worthless to the owners.”
Later in the meeting the ordinance (text amendment) then
came up for a vote. There had been no discussion and Comm.
Bernard asked for a vote. Comm. Hill asked the County Attorney
to give some background information. Comm. Bernard cut him
off and said it was discussed in Exec Session
and would not have to be discussed again. Comm.
Pennamon said, “This will bring more stress to BOC.” He
talked about conflicts of interest. Comm. Hill again asked
for clarification and just to go over basic points. Comm.
Bernard again stated this was all discussed in
executive session and would not be discussed in public.
The County Attorney said there was no conflict of interest
because this is county wide, not just for Turtle Cove. Vote
This new requirement
went into effect for all applications made after the 8/7/06
News also reported this part of the BOC meeting.
Approves Text Amendment
Kathy Mudd 10.AUG.06
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