Residents and Commission Divided in "Subdivision" Drama - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Residents and Commission Divided in "Subdivision" Drama

Elmore County Commission Elmore County Commission

The language may have been a bit confusing.

At times, it had many residents scratching their heads, but the guidelines for owning a subdivision in Elmore County were a heated point of debate.

"Your big words, they sound great.  They mean absolutely nothing to me," said resident Phil Jankay to County Commission members.

If a resident wants to build a subdivision, current rules require--among other things--a "right of way distance" of 50 to 60 feet, depending on what type of road you live on.

It's that rule and many others that has residents speaking out.

"Regulating private driveways is where I got trapped, and [it's] what brought me off the couch," said Frank Vawter, a local homeowner and developer.

"There's just countless more that I've sold property to.   Now, they're coming in to my office saying, 'I bought this land for my retirement.  Now I can't do anything with it,'" said realtor Mike Whorton.

However, the Commission maintains those rules have existed for years.

"The subdivision guidelines have been around since 1979.  It's a good thing to do then, and it's a good thing to do now," said Joe Faulk, Elmore County Commissioner.

The language has changed a little over the years, but Commissioner Faulk stresses he's powerless to make any adjustments to the ordinance.

He says the Alabama State Legislature controls those guidelines.

"The State of Alabama defines it that way.  In order to get that changed, you have to go to the legislature," Faulk explained.

However, a state legislator in attendance disagreed with that assumption.

"The legislature did not adopt these regulations," said Rep. Barry Mask of Elmore County.

Faulk says the current rules, however, are important to the community.

"Then it only makes sense for us to be sure that those who are developing neighborhoods and homes are doing it the right way," he said.

 

Reporter:  Cody Holyoke

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