There will no new building permits issued for a number of lots in the Sherwood subdivision for at least the next four months.
Danielsville’s city council unanimously voted Feb. 13 to implement the 120-day moratorium due to discrepancies discovered in the size of multiple lots inside the neighborhood.
City clerk Susan Payne said the lot sizes were found to be inaccurate on a specific plat for the “front side” of the subdivision. She said the original plat shows numerous lot sizes bigger than they actually are. The number of lots affected at this point is uncertain, but Payne estimated it could be as many as 19. The lots that are occupied are served by septic tanks, not sewer.
“There’s no way around this, it’s a can of worms,” Mayor Todd Higdon said of the discovery. “But we have to take action on it for future owners of the property.”
Higdon said many of the lots may be actually one-third of an acre, or even less.
Payne said per the health department, Madison County does not allow septic on lots below six-tenths of an acre with public water and 1.2 acres without public water (where a private well is needed).
Those who currently live on the property are “grandfathered” and can keep their current septic systems. But as councilman Michael Wideman pointed out, if their septic system fails and cannot be simply repaired, they will not be able to install a new system or drain fields since there won’t be enough space.
Payne said that fortunately, some of the property owners own more than one consecutive lot.
The city is unsure of its next move for now and is waiting to hear from the county tax assessor’s office and the health department on what to do next.
Also, in a special called meeting last week, the council voted to extend a mobile home moratorium beyond its original Feb. 6 end date, but will now remain in effect for an additional 120 days.
The moratorium was first implemented on August 5 and prohibits the acceptance of all applications for permits for the location, relocation, or erection of all “mobile, modular, manufactured and pre-owned manufactured homes.”
City clerk Susan Payne said the extension would allow the city’s legal counsel to “continue to proceed with their review and revision of the applicable ordinance to ensure its constitutionality.”
In other business Monday night, the council took a moment to honor the memory of two its citizens. Priscilla Greene, 89, wife of Gene Greene, passed away last week. Higdon noted the the couple, married almost 70 years, are lifelong residents of Danielsville and the former owners/operators of Danielsville Hardware. Also honored was 10-year old Brent Weaver, who lived in the city “part-time” with one of his parents. Weaver, a fourth-grader at Colbert Elementary, died suddenly last week. Higdon said he was heartened by the support he witnessed for the child’s family.
The department responded to 88 calls for service in January, according to a report from Police Chief Brenan Baird. There were 91 municipal court cases made during the month’s 220 citizen encounters. Of those, 132 were traffic stops and nine were ordinance violations. The department initiated 141 of the contacts, with 56 people (39.72 percent) being issued warnings.
The council also heard that police officer Jonathan Burnette received a sizeable donation for the police department’s “backpack project” to provide school supplies, clothing and other necessities to elementary school children. The council commended Burnette’s efforts in spearheading the project.