Commission Deed

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Commission cites deed in duplex plan

By Billy Davis

A Courtland resident who wanted to divide a three-acre residential lot into three duplexes was told Monday night her property deed forbids subdividing the property.

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The county land commission voted unanimously to turn down the application from Bettye Joiner, citing her deed.

Joiner’s permit request, which included a two-step process to win county approval, was the only agenda at the monthly meeting, which was held in Sardis.

Joiner was seeking to reclassify property at 141 Henry Drive in Courtland from agricultural to R-1, a recognition for residential development. If commissioners had granted the R-1 designation, Joiner would have then requested a special exception for the multi-family dwellings.

The public hearing began when Danny Walker, the commission chairman, read from the deed as Joiner sat listening with commissioners at the board table.

“It says the property cannot be subdivided,” Walker noted. “It says if you have a lot you can only have one residence on it.”

It seemed obvious the matter was settled but Joiner proceeded to seek the permit, and she and Walker went back and forth over the matter.

Ted Stewart, a developer who was present to support Joiner, told commissioners Joiner was seeking help from the land commission.  “That’s why she came to y’all,” he said.

“Well, the deed is the first thing you need to read,” Walker replied.

Joiner continued asking for permission from the land commission until she finally said, “So that’s it? Nothing can be done about it?”

“No ma’am,” Walker replied. “I’m sorry.”

“I’m sorry, too,” Joiner said.

About 30 people were present for the public hearing and an audience member told commissioners most were neighbors who came to oppose Joiner’s permit request.

That same audience member told commissioners she also has a property deed, similar to Joiner’s deed, that forbids subdividing the lots.