MACON COUNTY GOVERNMENT WANTS MORE CONTROL OF OUR PRIVATE PROPERTY

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While land owners in Macon County are struggling with ever growing property taxes, our County Commissioners are getting ready to vote into law new ways to intrude into your private property rights.

In 2006, our County Commissioners voted into law a 23-page Ordinance that defines and governs “Land Disturbance” activities.  Yes, whether you know it or not, you must ask the Building Department for a permit before you “disturb” your own land.

Per the 2006 “Macon County Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Ordinance”, “Land Disturbance” is defined as:

“Land-disturbing activity means any use of the land by any person in residential, industrial, educational, institutional or commercial development, highway and road construction and maintenance that results in a change in the natural cover or topography and that may cause or contribute to sedimentation.”

Whether you like the idea or not, Macon County has the legal right to tell you where you can dig a hole, make a road or perform landscaping activities, even if you own the land.  That’s a done deal and in some cases, it’s not all bad.  If your neighbor is cutting off the top of his mountain, and the erosion is destroying your property, you may suddenly see a need for this sort of ordinance.   

But, now in 2018, the Macon County Planning Committee wants to put more “teeth” into this Ordinance and have drafted an Addendum requiring property owners to either hire a licensed contractor to do the land disturbance or, (should you decide to do it yourself) take a 4-hour course, pass a test, and sign an affidavit that you will not sell, offer to sell, or transfer your property for a period of one year!

Angry yet?  How about this.  If you violate those options and do the work yourself without taking the 4-hour course and signing the affidavit, you can be fined $500.00 a day, every day that you violate the ruling.  Oh, and it can be a Class 2 Misdemeanor as well!

The original 23-page, 2006 ordinance already describes what is allowed and what the legal ramifications are of ignoring it.   To require property owners to engage in 4-hour courses, take exams and sign affidavits that they won’t sell, or even offer to sell their property, is an unacceptable overstep in government authority. 

This Addendum imposes demanding requirements on the property rights of the citizens of Macon County while adding nothing of value to the existing Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Ordinance. 

Our County Commissioners will vote on this soon, possibly at the next Board of Commissioners meeting on February 13th, 2018.   At this time, it appears that 4 of the 5 County Commissioners are prepared to adopt this Addendum.  Paul Higdon has indicated he will vote against it. 

Please sign our petition and demand your County Commissioner vote NO on this intrusive Amendment. 

 

Here are the Commissioners who have the power to vote this Addendum into law.  They also have the power to scrap it.   Call them today and let them know that reelection is unlikely if this Addendum is passed.

Karl Gillespie  -  (828) 524-4624  karl@karlgillespie.com

Ronnie Beale  -   (828) 369-5044  rbeale1955@yahoo.com

James (Jim) Tate  -   (828) 526-0388   jamesptate@aol.com

Paul Higdon  -   (828) 369-5048  sewersolutionsinc@yahoo.com

Gary Shields  -  (828) 369-3919  garymshields@yahoo.com



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