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Bypass, part 2, to start shortly

The Fayette County Board of Commissioners last week voted to proceed with right-of-way acquisition for land needed for the second phase of the controversial West Fayetteville Bypass.

This section of the road will reach from the first phase terminus at Sandy Creek Road behind Piedmont Fayette Hospital all the way up to Ga. Highway 92 at West Bridge Road.

The bypass — particularly this northern section — figured prominently in the July 20 elections results that saw two incumbents ousted by opponents of the road. Commission Chairman Jack Smith — one of those to be replaced Jan. 1 — said he has been told that the county has received a verbal notification that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would approve a permit for the road, which will require the crossing of several streams including Whitewater Creek.

A citizen’s group opposing the bypass was petitioning the Corps for a denial of the permit as a way to stop the road. That group, the West Fayette Bypass Coalition, has also threatened to file a federal lawsuit against the county under the federal Clean Water Act in hopes of scuttling the project.

Smith said county staff has indicated about 42 parcels will need to be acquired for the road, and most of the major landowners “have pretty much agreed” to donate the necessary property for the project. Some other parcels will need to be purchased by the county, but so far no property owners have indicated they will refuse to sell their property, necessitating a potential condemnation action by the county.

That could change, Smith noted.

The path of the bypass is expected to result in the need to demolish three existing homes and a barn. The bypass is being conceptualized and built in three stages. Once complete it will extend from Ga. Highway 85 South at Harp Road to the first part of phase one, which starts at Lester Road just south of Ga. Highway 54. The second phase of the bypass will extend from that point to Ga. Highway 92 North at West Bridge Road, and the county will also be straightening out a curve and replacing a bridge on West Bridge Road which can be used as one of the avenues into Fulton County and ultimately Interstate 85 via Ga. Highway 138.

Bypass opponents have complained that the route is not direct enough to be convenient for motorists, particularly those who commute to and from downtown Atlanta and beyond. Some also have alleged that the bypass would benefit owners of undeveloped land in central Fayette that is zoned for future residential subdivisions.

Smith said based on the zoning of the undeveloped tracts, they cannot be developed for a more intense zoning due to the location of the bypass.

“The main thing the bypass will do for those properties is provide an alternate ingress and egress for emergency services to be able to reach those parcels faster,” Smith said.

Plus, due to the economy, development in that area is likely to be slow in coming, Smith added.

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I happen to live along this ill-fated bypass route, and no one has contacted me nor any of my neighbors (I've spoken with only a few, mind you) about acquiring our land by any means whatsoever! You can be assured my property will most certainly NOT be donated. What a crock of feces!

ginga1414's picture

Alleged, I haven't been contacted either. It is a "crock" alright.

Everyone should read through Munford's article again and notice how Smith never gives any specifics. He never gives absolutes.

There will be a foot of snow on the ground in July before I donate any portion of my property.

"Where's the beef?" so where are the details of this transaction? Who was contacted about their land?

More importantly-Did the remaining members of the Commission not get the message? I could have sworn that the mandate was clear. We didn't miss a beat when we elected our new commissioners in response to (the incumbent's) support for this ill-advised project. They certainly have a lot of nerve even bringing this up with the lame-duck commission.

The developers have probably agreed to donate their portion of property to get this road built. After all, they are the one's to benefit from it anyway.

So, this is really what it has been about all along? Money, Money, money!

I know donating land for a road for public use went out of style and the state or federals now pay a "fair" price for a strip on which to build it.

However, donations of such was the norm for many, many years.

My Grandfather donated approximately two miles of total roadway width many years ago. It split his farm in two but did no real harm and served the community now for many, many years.

Saying it will never be needed is stupid. Never is a long time and if the state waits until it is a must, the l;and then which will be developed by then, will cost a fortune to taxpayers.

We have enough of that sort of thing from former road officials and others, who know what to buy when, years in advance.

Ain't we all "Christians?" Yeah, right--not when money is involved!

ginga1414's picture

There are ninety (90) members of the West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition. As a founding member of this organization, I have not received any verification from any of our members stating that they will donate their land to the county.

Mr. Smith, can put my name on his list of those folks who will absolutely refuse to donate or sell their land to the county for this ill conceived road project.

Twenty-five years ago when the West Fayetteville Bypass was first contemplated, the road was supposed to run along the land lot lines. However, now the county intends to snake this thing within inside my back property lines so that some of my property will be on one side of the road and some will be on the other side of the road, making that portion unusable.

IN 2008, when we received a notice from the county stating that they intended to run the road through my front yard, that route would have literally cut my property through the middle. That would have left much of my property unusable and it would have left my well on one side of the road and my house on the other side of the road. When I asked Mr. Eric Maxwell about what would happen in a case like that, I received his now infamous remark that I would "just have to be real careful crossing that road with my water bucket." Nice! Real Nice, Mr. Maxwell!

When Smith says, "The main thing the bypass will do for those properties (undeveloped tracts) is provide an alternate ingress and egress for emergency services to be able to reach those parcels faster," he is talking about all the new subdivisions that will be built on those tracts of land. He has got to justify the road some way.

I can absolutely guarantee Mr. Smith that a law suit is just sitting in our attorney's office waiting to be implemented. I can absolutely guarantee Mr. Smith and the other commissioners that it WILL BE IMPLEMENTED.

SHAME, SHAME ON OUR COMMISSIONERS FOR WORKING AGAINST THE WILL OF THE CITIZENS. THE CITIZENS SPOKE LOUD AND CLEAR WHEN THEY VOTED AGAINST THE 2009 SPLOST. THE CITIZENS SPOKE LOUD AND CLEAR WHEN THEY VOTED JACK SMITH AND ERIC MAXWELL OUT OF OFFICE THIS PAST JULY.

suggarfoot's picture

A way for Smith's buddies to make a bundle and the taxpayers pay for the roads.

It is snaking through your property, so it won't mess up the selling of the developers. Heaven forbid they loose a penny of their money right? It is all about developer welfare. January is slow coming isn't it?

I am afraid that "the citizens" you mention being against a road there are in effect, "some citizens."
Granted they are currently the "effected" citizens, but 20 years from now all of the citizens will be effected and affected if it isn't built when it can be afforded.

I agree all this is pushed by developers. Guess I will just have to become a developer!

Eric ain't dumb: he sees the side of developers and the side of the citizens as a whole. I don't know the other guy!

Why are we building anything more, no matter what it is, if it comes from the City or County when we are having budget problems already? We are having problems with so many areas because of poor cash flow. Why are so many eager to build yet something else that sets empty or a new roadway that goes through/around an area which could cost some merchants a lot of income and making roads for more empty buildings and convenience?

Those who have lived here most of their lives and those who moved here to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city will be impacted most. Why do the city and county insist on going against the wishes of the people, who have voted this down every time? It is like, "Get me in office so I can destroy at will, the things everyone wants to hold dear?" These things can be held back,(even if we incur a fine it will be less than the whole project is costing), until we are more solvent. It seems, to me at least, that we are spending without thought for tomorrow.

In this project we are doing something I never thought I would see a Fayette County resident pushing condemnation of their land just so the city/county could build an ill advised project, a project that most say is not needed and is at best a road to "nowhere". Are we going down that road with no thought of how it will affect the people? People went though a lot and worked hard for the money to buy their land, why should they have to give it up because something was deliberately put where their land is and others have land that will prosper much if the project goes on? Surely, Fayette County, Fayetteville, has not changed it's values so much that they think nothing of doing something like this. I know no one that will be directly impacted but I know me and I would not like to do it or have it on my conscience. Please, please stop these practices.

ginga1414's picture

What, exactly, did you mean by saying "Bypass, part 2, to start shortly?" Did you mean tomorrow? Did you mean after the lawsuits are resolved? What, exactly, does "shortly" mean?

This past week, a WFBC supporter placed a phone call to Mr. Joe Rivera with the Corps of Engineers. Mr. Rivera is the person in charge of evaluating the county's 404 Permit application to build the West Bypass. When asked about the status of the application, Mr. Rivera replied that it was an extremely slow process.

In Munford's article, he referred to Jack Smith as saying that he had been told that the county has received a "verbal notification that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would approve a permit for the road." I would like for Mr. Munford to tell me when this "verbal notification" was received from the Corps of Engineers and who received it.

According to Munford, Smith said that "so far no property owners have indicated they will refuse to sell their property." Have any property owners said that they will sell their property to the county?

Once again, the citizens have been lied to by our county officials. During a discussion with the county Public Works Director last summer, I asked him "What will happen to property that is bought before the 404 Permit is received?" He said that the county would not buy property before the 404 Permit was received. He said that would cause a real problem. However, at the time he said that, our Public Works Director was well aware of the fact that the county had already purchased property for the Bypass.

Similar tactics have been used over and over again, everywhere in the country. It is the basis for some of the really nasty issues that Fayette County faced back in the 90's when the Federal Government refused a permit to the county for Lake McIntosh and said the least damaging alternative is at Lake Horton. The county wailed about all that money they had spent purchasing all of that property in Coweta and Fayette counties for the lake bed but until the need for more water was demonstrated, it meant nothing to the Feds.

They are doing it again, folks. It really doesn't matter how the citizens of this county voted. Our current bunch of commissioners will twist and manipulate the facts to achieve what they want to achieve.

This is getting boring.

I have told you for months, innumerable times to drop it, that it was decided long ago to build that road.
I know the Fayetteville merchants don't want it and that the landowners want too much money, but it is to be built.
The only votes that counted was when the money to build it was made available!
Check on which politicians were for the money to build it and throw them out! Most of the developers are already gone.

90% of county residents don't care one way or the other.

Frankly, I will appreciate being able to go around downtown Fayetteville and Las Vegas state #85! Give it to Riverdale.
If Fayetteville had years ago rebuilt downtown with plenty of parking and shopping instead of keeping old 1865 houses no one is interested in, it might have been worthwhile to go there. Doc Holliday was a crook anyway.

Even the Fayette Female School that "Gone with The Wind," stars went to no longer exists! All of the slaves are gone too. Much needs to go!

90% of the people don't care? Then why did Brown and McCarty walk all over Smith and Maxwell in the election? Look at the returns by precinct and then tell me 90% of the people don't care. I guess you don't blame S&M for trying to get back at them, either.

Most of the Fayette people don't even vote! They don't care!

Do you really think that had much to do with those two defeats?

The voters spoke on July 20, 2010. They proved to the commissioners that they didn't want the West Bypass. According to what I read on the Fayette County Government website, the commissioners we elect are supposed to work for the people. But which people they're working for? While Smith and Maxwell made their feelings about the West Bypass clear early on, the other commissioners have made no declaration until now. They are even willing to condemn our land to get that road built. Evidently, when Smith and Maxwell got voted out, the others didn't get the message. Enter The Five Musketeers. They all stick together like glue, and here they have shown us that they just don't care what the public wants. Had the people been able to fully take back Fayette County, commissioners from years past used to attempt to work out differences with landowners in cases where the county needed property. County land deals never went to a public outcry like the West Bypass has. In a way, it is understandable why the county decided to buy or condemn our land. It's the only way left for them, because the overwhelming majority of people are against this road.

Opposition to the West Bypass was the central campaign issue that got Brown and McCarty elected as our new commissioners. How tragic that they'll have to cope with the torn remnants of the Five Musketeers when they assume office. From Mr. Smith's remark and the commission's vote, the Five obviously plan to go ahead and start condemning land on the strength of an oral promise that a 404 Permit will be issued by the Army. No doubt the rush to start by the commissioners stems from the seeds of revenge, brought about by their failed election. But, should the road ever get to a starting point, the West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition has vowed to file suit against the project. That would mean that those voters who oppose the project and voted against Smith and Maxwell would have to pay for the County's defense of the lawsuit through their taxes. So the result is when you stand up to the Musketeers, they won't listen, and if you force their hand, you pay. But these commissioners do not work for the people. They've made that clear.

Not only do the voters pay for the county's attorneys, experts, and consultants, they'll also be providing compensation in benefits for those developers who propose to "generously donate" their property for the road. In return, the developers get free road access to their land lots, curb cuts, and their property skyrockets in value. Now, it's easy to see why critics of the project call it "a developer's dream." It's obvious that the commissioners finally gave up on trying to figure out how the West Bypass could help traffic. Now, they're saying that we need to get emergency vehicles to hundreds and hundreds of acres of undeveloped land. Strange, that never had been called an issue until they finally had to throw in the towel on how the road could ever relieve congestion in Fayetteville.

The movement against Smith and Maxwell started with this single issue and only a very few people. That just goes to show what persistence and dedication can do. We have now received Frady's, Horgan's and Hearn's message to the voters loud and clear, "like it or not, it's a done deal"!

NUK_1's picture

Voting 2 of 5 out of office means relatively nothing in the short-term and also assumes greatly that the only reason a couple of bozos like Smith and Maxwell got voted out was the WFB when there are several other valid reasons why someone would not vote for them in the first place. The other 3 can claim the opposite in that you voted for the WFB or EFB already and "we're doing just what you told us to do."

"Had the people been able to fully take back Fayette County, commissioners from years past used to attempt to work out differences with landowners in cases where the county needed property."

That is total BS.

Remember the guy who had paid property taxes for decades on some land the county decided they wanted to put a water tower on? Not only did they dispute that he owned the land, once they claimed it as their own through court he got ZERO for all the years of paying taxes on land they claimed was not recorded properly on the parcel map. Tough luck, dude!

Let's see what your comrade-in-hysteria and alter-ego ginga1414 has to say:
"It is the basis for some of the really nasty issues that Fayette County faced back in the 90's when the Federal Government refused a permit to the county for Lake McIntosh and said the least damaging alternative is at Lake Horton. The county wailed about all that money they had spent purchasing all of that property in Coweta and Fayette counties for the lake bed but until the need for more water was demonstrated, it meant nothing to the Feds."

Of course, a lot of that blather above is factually WRONG as usual. The hold-up was with the GEORGIA EPD and DNR, not the Feds. Whatever.

Did you forget what you originally posted earlier or are you just arguing both sides with yourself?

You must be crazy--county can kiss my a--

The price just went way up--see ya in court!

Well, with that attitude we will just have to send down the carpet-baggers to simply throw you a quarter and simply take it!

ginga1414's picture

I know there are some folks out there who just plain don't understand what the big deal is with all these people who are very reluctant to donate or sell their property to the county. I would like to explain, if possible.

The first word that comes to my mind is HOME. You know, "Home is where the heart is." HOME is the beginning and end to some folks. I am one of those people. My neighborhood, until recently, consisted of all family members. My sister is my next door neighbor. My mother was my other next door neighbor. My uncle, aunt, two cousins and their families live across our dirt road. Our grandchildren love to ride their bikes across our dirt road to my uncle's lake. They like to go fishing and duck feeding at the lake. My grandchildren love to crawl all over and build forts on top of the many rock terraces built on our property. We have been told by historians that our rock terraces were built by Native Americans who lived on our property at one time. All six of my grandchildren want to someday live in my house. That is HOME. That is why I am fighting so hard.

One of my Lee's Mill neighbors lives on the property that his great grandmother farmed. The barn that his great grandmother built is on his property and my neighbor has very lovingly tried to preserve the barn. That is his HOME.

And a road parcel would cause you to lose the whole thing?

Unfortunately there is no way to value property by the way you did.

What stff is selling for is the value, generally.

No way to know what the road will do to you---you didn't say. If it just traffic, well that kind of thing has been happening every since progress began.

PTC Observer's picture

Keep fighting, but I believe it's a lost cause.

Sory, somehow this came up in duplicate.

respect or love for anything but the all mighty dollar. It is amazing that elected officials can jam down our throats something we do not want or need. It is heartbreaking to think that something that has been in your family and has meant so much to all of you can be ruined by greed. It seems like tradition means nothing to most people anymore. Isn't there some way that, because of those terraces, the area can be saved, as are older homes with significant historical merit? Is this an avenue your family may pursue or have tried to pursue? Heck, track down ancestors of that indian tribe and put them to work on it!!! Makes more sense than what our politicians are doing in this matter. And CHR, Dollar, Bonkers, et al keep your snarky remarks to yourself/selves.

ginga1414's picture

Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. We are working on the Indian Tribe information. Just hope we are able to do something before it is too late.

Saw CHR mentioned among those other dudes and saw the word snarky, and that I shouldn't enter the conversation!

I never heard of "snarky!" Guess to you it means disagreeable with you.

Since most of us won't be on this earth very much longer, is it your contention that keeping everything as it is at your place is for someone else to start fighting progress?

I wonder if Abe Lincoln's folks old cabin in the Kentucky woods is still occupied by his relatives? It wasn't on a road though. Thomas Jefferson built his home (Monticello) on a tippy top of a mountain where no road could have any meaning, but if coal or oil were discovered on that mountain top, I'll bet they would move Monticello down to the University grounds!
Is that "Snarky?"

responding. Just because you are such a sweetie I will answer your pithy questions, not necessarily in the order you asked them, so here goes,

1. Abraham Lincoln's home is listed on the National Registry as is Monticello and therefore are preserved for all to enjoy. I sincerely doubt that if coal or oil or even gold was discovered that these edifices would be torn down. There are still enough Americans who care about history to make sure of this.

2. Yes, I do believe that if someone bought and paid for land that has been in their family for years and want to pass this on to their heirs who will have the same regard and reverence for that land they should have that right. Eminent domain should not be used to build roads to fill developers pockets, or even to let developers build shopping centers on that land because it will increase the tax base. I know it has been done but it is wrong and not what this country should be about. Just look around and see what has been torn down. In too many instances money is the impetus for all these changes, not necessity. More and more in this state and some others no regard is given to the past--beautiful architecture is torn down and replaced. In too many cases the past is being totally wiped out and this is a sad commentary on what we value. And don't give me that bull you espouse about being stuck in the past and not wanting progress. Progress has it's place but so does tradition and the past.

In the instance that prompted this postings, I would hate to see a family who loves their homestead lose any part of it for a road that is not needed or to cut off ten or fifteen minutes of someone commute. Why should your desire to get somewhere sooner give you the right to take my property that I have paid for and own legally? Why should your selfish right override my right to live my life as I have without interferring with yours?

I personally do not have such a plot of land to leave to my children and I can honestly say that I doubt if they would want it as they have established their own households. But, even though I am not personally hurt by the action of our greedy commissioners, I am angry and upset that they can do this to anyone. I personally am willing to take that extra ten, fifteen, or even thirty minutes so these people can retain what is rightfully theirs.

3. Snarky---look it up in your Funk and Wagnalls or Websters. Or better yet, the internet where you love to get all your other info. And at the same time look up the definition of Heart---you need some.

The Lincoln cabin where he was born in Kentucky, was torn down after it became a local whorehouse!

The logs, etc., were spread around so much into other buildings that nothing even close could be built.

A miniature cabin was built and paraded around until it was set up as a memorial inside another building as a National Memorial. Americans fabricate hundreds of "memorials" that aren't authentic to foster false patriotism! Eve at Monticello (Jefferson) it is "spick and span" with highly fertilized grass and new paint which he didn't have. It was muddy as hell, and nasty in 1800+.
I have been there.

Please don't say someone is wrong if you haven't even checked the facts!

By the way, "snarky" is slang. OK I guess, old German crap.

was actually there. Were you a patron of the house of ill repute that Abe's home became? Must have been crowded in that one room! Must have been hard on you slogging through all that mud at Monticello also. We are so fortunate to have you on this site to keep us straight. As just a point of information--there are many of us who have sincere patriotism. Must be arduous trying to stay up there on that hill all by yourself.

As for snarky--here are a few definitions. Pick the one of your choice. Each and everyone can be attributed to you on any day, hour or minute of any day. Enjoy.
Snarky--crotchety, snappish, irreverent, cranky, grumpy, perverse, petulant, testy, waspish--and the list could go on ad infinitum.

Well your sincerity doesn't include the facts!
History is beautiful but only if told in a truthful fashion.

In the city where Saint Paul spent time (Ephesus, I think) there is a whorehouse attached to the library with a secret door between them! I saw it. No longer used.

The john in the library was a 16 holer that fell directly into the drainage from the mountains and directly into the port that used to be there---before erosion filled up the port. That port must have stunk.

I can imagine how those visits went!
The sign carved in stone at the "house" said, "no money, no honey in Greek or Turkish, I don't know which now.

Now that is factual history! Wasn't no Georgia ladies tea party.

ginga1414's picture

God bless you. Thank you, with all my heart. If you ever need me to stand by you, I will be there.

ginga1414's picture

Please explain to me how spending $50,000,000 on a road to nowhere is progress. $50,000,000 is a whole lot of money that could be spent on more crucial projects. It makes absolutely no sense to destroy peaceful, high end, well maintained neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are not dilapidated. How is it progress to destroy something of value?

Do you have inside information as to how the WFB will alleviate traffic in Fayetteville? Who will use the road?

Courty, you sound like Jack Smith in talking about the West Bypass as "progress." Can you give any practical examples of how motorists currently going through Fayetteville to get to Point "B" from Point "A" would no longer congest the Fayetteville traffic by taking the two lane West Bypass? Smith could not, or would not. It's progress because our leaders say so. If you don't believe that, just ask them. How would it be better taking the West Bypass going from Fayetteville to Tyrone in lieu of Sandy Creek Rd., or Fayetteville to Riverdale on State 85? From Fayetteville to College Park, State 92 would be better.

Your examples should include two points of heavily traveled destination routes along with all the turns and stops. Anyone foolish enough to take Phase II to Atlanta would end up at the Sandy Creek railroad crossing getting to I-85. Or, they could take the same obstacle course challenge they now face getting from Highway 92 to Union City. And taking Westbridge Rd. to Riverdale is even better. You end up at a MARTA stop on Highway 138 after first having to stop at the almost abandoned Old Highway 138, a few hundred yards to the South. All that on 2 lane road, and it ends nowhere. You are still more than 3 miles West of where State 85 intersects State 138 getting to Riverdale, and more than 4 miles from I-85.

The real tragedy is that even if the alignment were viable, a 2 lane bypass would become an instant parking lot.

Are you up to proving what you've been preaching?

Now if it is not needed pip and goes nowhere, how can it become a two lane parking lot? Be 4 lanes anyway in the future.
I suppose you have seen the master plan for the road connection for 10-15 years from now? Sounds as if you do.

It exists! But they won't tell you there would be too much static!
Road building and road surfacing has caused many people to live a good portion of their lives on earth arguing about them! Stuff, possessions, money, goods, safety, church, religion, race, hate, prayer, etc., make up the rest of the time on earth!

Well, it's like this, Courty...the county admitted that no traffic study or environmental review was done on the bypass. From what you have been saying about opponents to it standing in the way of progress, all we can conclude is that you have enough confidence in our commissioners to take their word that it will do what they say it will. I'll ask you again...can you spell out a scenario that will illustrate to all us ignorami just why the bypass is worth $50 million? We can't get anybody else to lay out the facts as to how this road will ease the congestion in Fayetteville.

Then, too, there's another angle to this. Fulton, Clayton, Gwinnett and Henry Counties didn't stand in the way of progress like I am. Maybe if we give up on fighting things we don't need, we'll get to look like them. I like us better the way we are.

Regarding your suggestion, the commissioners initially proposed more lanes for the road, but waffled back to 2 lanes. That's not the way to move overflow traffic on a viable bypass. But some people don't question what government does, just because it was government that did it, and we must obey the law of the land. I would love to see the master plan that ties the West Bypass into something that makes sense, but nobody has any idea how it would network directly in to I-85. Instead, all we get is "we need it".

Ginger Cake Road already serves as the West Bypass, and it's not busy. Funneling traffic to State 74 wouldn't help the PTC commuters, either. That's why the WFB doesn't tie in to State 74. It's just not, and never will be a bypass. It's like you or I deciding where we want a road and then getting the right people to push the idea.

ginga1414's picture

Have you ever attended a commission meeting where the commissioners retired to Executive Session?

I have attended many such meetings. It always seems that the Executive Session is called to discuss "Real Estate" and/or "Legal Matters."

During the Sept. 9th, 2010 Executive Session meeting last week, Commission Chairman, Jack R. Smith signed Resolution No. 2010-16. We assume that the other commissioners were also in attendance.

That Resolution was signed without any public notice that it existed or that it would be signed that evening. The Resolution did not appear on the Commission Meeting Agenda. It was signed with no notification to those homeowners whose property will be impacted by the West Fayetteville Bypass Phase II. It was a clandestine move to undermine the citizens whose property and homes will be impacted by the Bypass.

Chairman Smith once told me in an email that if I wanted to know what was going on in the county that I should attend the commission meetings. I have and I do attend commission meetings. However, no one is privy to what goes on in an Executive Session meeting.

In August of 2009 Public Works Director, Phil Mallon told me that the county would not try to purchase right of way property for the construction of the West Bypass before the Federal 404 Permit had been obtained. I asked him what would happen to property if it was purchased and then the 404 Permit was denied. He said that the county could be in "big trouble" if that happened. I asked him if someone sold their property to the county before the 404 Permit was obtained and then the 404 Permit was denied, would those folks be able to re-purchase their property from the county? Mr. Malon said that would not happen because the county would not try to purchase property before it obtained the 404 Permit.

Resolution No. 2010-16 is just one more insult/slap in the collective faces of property and homeowners along the West Fayetteville Bypass. The insults perpetrated by our current commission all started with Commissioner Maxwell's belittling remark to me. At the time, I thought that his remark was just indicative of one person. I was wrong. It was a small insight into the inner workings of our commission, other public officials and certain employees in Fayette County.

Our commission would not address nor disclose this Resolution publicly. WHY? Judge for yourself.

Resolution No. 2010-16

STATE OF GEORGIA
COUNTY OF FAYETTE

RESOLUTION TO AUTHORIZE THE ACQUISITION OF LAND AND TEMPORARY
CONSTRUCTION EASEMENTS IN FAYETTE COUNTY, GEORGIA, BY
NEGOTIATED CONTRACT OR CONDEMNATION PURSUANT TO PROVISIONS OF
O.C.G.A. SECTION 32-3-4 THROUGH SECTION 32-3-19

WHEREAS, certain real property is needed and necessary for the construction of roads

and road improvements in Fayette County; and

WHEREAS, these parcels are more specifically identified on the right of way plans for

the West Fayetteville By-Pass II, and are necessary for the construction and improvement

of the West Bypass, Phase II; and

WHEREAS, negotiation to secure a contract for the above described property is

authorized but condemnation of the same may be necessary;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of Fayette
County, Georgia as follows:

1.

The Board of Commissioners hereby authorizes the acquisition of all parcels of land and

easements depicted on the Right of Way Plans for the West Fayetteville By-Pass, Phase II, dated

January 18, 2010, through negotiation or the use of eminent domain procedures for the purpose

of the establishment and the construction of the West Bypass; and other purposes allowed by

law. The Board hereby specifically finds that the circumstances are such that it is necessary that

the right of way, easements, and access rights, if any, as described in exhibits to this Resolution

be acquuired by negotiation or condemnation under the provisions of O.C.G.A. Sections 32-3-4

through 32-3-19 and the County Attorney and/or his designee are hereby specifically authorized

to undertake such condemnation proceedings as may be necessary in accordance with the

provisions of said Code by use of the Declaration of Taking procedure as set out therein. The

Chairman of the Board of Commissioners is hereby specifically authorized to sign any and all

documents on behalf of the Board of Commissioners to effectuate any such negotiations or

condemnation proceedings.

This Resolution shall be effective immediately upon adoption.

This 9th day of September, 2010.

FAYETTE COUNTY BOARD OF
COMMISSIONERS

_______________________________________________
JACK R. SMITH, CHAIRMAN

Mr. Brown, anything to say on this executive session resolution? Good governance by the commissioners here?

Mike King's picture

What can he do? He will not take office until January, and afterwards I doubt he will be able to turn the tide with the sitting three commissioners. After all, residents of Peachtree City can vouch for his team building skills, now can't we?

Our best hope in stopping this monster (WFB) is a lengthy condemnation process and then the eminent domain court proceedings that are surely to follow. By then, only a relatively few will care. Did you forget the Trail Of Tears of the Cherokee Nation began in our state?

Face facts, we elected the commissioners to carry out OUR wishes, and is it not true that we as a county approved by popular vote the SPLOST for this project? I doubt the great caped crusader Steve Brown can change an election, but I could be mistaken.

PTC Observer's picture

Amen

Of course he can't do anything until Jan, and perhaps very little then. But, until then, he could at least pop up on the blog every now and then since Mayor Haddix seems to have gone quiet and left us with PTC traffic tickets as the daily topic. I see the most likely scenario as Horgan getting voted out when his term is up and being replaced by an anti-WFB commissioner. Would this not put a halt to WFB, at least for a while? Could it be that the pre-January move to acquire the right of ways (from the large plot developer owners I would assume) is aimed at doling out a little SPLOST cash to some friends?

Mike King's picture

Very aptly put, Old Steve may very well be vacationing or something since he seldom misses a chance to ring his bell.

Even with an anti-WFB electee replacing Horgan, I don't see the commission changing an election. The hold up with WFB will be in the courts pertaining to both eminent domain and environmental impact issues. You may be correct in that land for right of ways already owned by developers may well be a first step. If these developers own a preponderance of the land, the remaining smaller landowners are in for a difficult time.

As far as Haddix, he's not had a good summer. His explosion in front of middle schoolers on a school assignment and a den of Boy Scouts while chairing a Council meeting was reprehensible.

NUK_1's picture

Was that some how the 2 of them were going stop the WFB if elected. That was their position over and over and now they get to deliver on it. They got elected and start in January and it definitely appears like the other 3 are ready to see some asphalt so that's going to be interesting.

The whole WFB IS unnecessary but road projects become almost like living entities once they start and don't just go away. WFB is definitely past the embryonic stage now. Then you have landowners who are united in not wanting to sell until they start seeing some serious $$$ and then the "unity" falls apart.

All I see is a big mess of condemnation hearings, lawsuits, etc., but there is going to eventually be a WFB in some form and probably a lot like it was envisioned by the commissioners and developers, IMO.

The whole bit about the commissioners in some way not listening to the sleepy voters who woke up AFTER the fact is rather moot. Road projects do not suddenly begin or end on the whims of the voters that one particular day.

If I recall, Brown was also a Eric Maxwell supporter when good 'ol Eric ran and got elected and then became able to be part of making the WFB a reality.

At some point instead of looking around for who to blame(there's never a shortage of worthy targets), who elected people like Smith, Maxwell, Horgan, etc. and who voted yes on the SPLOST that had a big fat transportation plan inside? Must have been "other people" who no longer live here.

hutch866's picture

Well who knows, most likely out contemplating his next vague accusation against someone who...GASP...OMG...has had dealings with....GASP....OMG... a developer, of course old Steve could grow a pair and refute me at any time, but big surprise, he never answers me on these blogs, go figure. No, let me be honest here, although I asked him questions from the time he declared for the county commission, he waited till the Sunday before the election, and then asked what my questions were. So I asked him a couple and Steve being the consummate politician he is, repeated my questions to me, and hemmed and hawed, and yet never answered one of the questions. Maybe Steve has realized the other commissioners aren't going to bow down and worship him like he thought. Direct challenge here Steve, prove me wrong on anything I've said.

I yam what I yam

Robert W. Morgan's picture

By now Brown has had plenty of time to approach the three sitting commissioners and see if they will play ball with him. I believe he will be 0 for 3 on that at bat. Doubt Frady would even agree to meet with him. So now he's left with his normal bomb-throwing, developer-demonization, gadfly act. How any halfway intelligent voter could have believed that this clown could actually do anything about the bypass is beyond me. I really wish people would pay attention to what is actually going on all the time instead of just for two months before an election. We get what we deserve when we have don't pay attention to how are "leaders" are acting. Of course it has always been that way here and elsewhere, even nationally.

Hutch, maybe you should get a red phone like Glen Beck has so Steve can call you on the hotline if you ever say anything not factual.

Live free or die!

Did not want to leave you out of my previous post. It applies to you, the gadfly and bomb-thrower, also.

All of the good old Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell supporters dare to come on this blog, the same ones who said Steve Brown and Allen McCarty did not have a chance of winning, and now gloat that their current commission boys are going to kick sand in the face of the people of Fayette County and build the road to nowhere anyway before Brown and McCarty enter office.

I am amazed at the shallow personalities who cheer when the people are slighted by a bunch special interest thugs who couldn't care less about the best interests of the local people.

The voters said don't build it and Hutch, Nuk and King laugh and cheer instead of fighting the sorry excuses for elected politicians who continue their ego trip.

This one ranks high in the lack of character category.

NUK_1's picture

Of the people you just named, none are Smith/Maxwell supporters and that was said by eacht OVER AND OVER AND OVER here and yet some of you people just can't comprehend that. Smith/Maxwell sucked. Cyclist? Much better choice.

I didn't vote for ANY of the clowns presently on the FC commission(maybe Frady a while back...dunno), voted against that SPLOST that included the grand transportation plan, and I also passed on voting for Brown(hell no!) and McCarty. I guess I am just a negative guy or something but it's not my fault the voters put a bunch of clowns in office and aren't happy with the results. I'm not happy either but that's the way it goes.

Who is "cheering?" As far as what the other 3 commissioners are going to do or not do, the only people I see howling about how they are going to "kick sand" in the faces of others are the anti-WFB people. As far as anyone pointing out the horrible track record of Brown alienating most everyone in FC while Mayor, including his fellow councilmembers who went from supporting him to running away from him, that's simply a fact.

Never been for the WFB and I think it's a waste of money and serves little purpose or traffic relief. The time to address all of this though was back then, not a few months ago when 2 commissioners are up for re-election and the only candidates seeking to replace them are an unknown and a big failure.

You need to get something straight, though: the voters had already said BUILD IT and that's exactly what the FC started doing back in 2006 after the voters said YES, WE LIKE YOUR PLAN. Waiting until years later to say "NO" is called being firmly in the short-sighted category.

Go back and read your previous posts. You are delighting in the fact the current thugs are proceeding and there is nothing Steve Brown can do at present.

As for that SPLOST vote, do you really think anyone who voted for it could recite the projects on the list that, by the way, were not on the ballot? I voted for it because I was stupid enough to believe the projects were valid.

Wrong is wrong. You shouldn't do it if the people say not to.

The unknown and the big failure respect the people of this county. I agree, you are an apathetic negative guy. You don't run for office but you can dish it out on Brown even though he was proven right most of the time.

Too bad you don't spend that energy fighting the road to nowhere instead of whining.

ginga1414's picture

As I said before, a group of citizens have been fighting the WFB for the last 25 years. We tried all of the classic avenues only to find that they were blocked.

The only reason it seems as though nothing was being done in the past is because we were trying to converse with our local officials on a civilized basis. That didn't work.

The only reason folks have, in the last two years, started hearing about our fight against the WFB is because we decided that civility was getting us nowhere. Two years ago, we decided that down and dirty was the name of our Commission's game. They have called the shots.

If you will remember, at one point not long ago, Jack Smith said that he thought government should be "quiet." He still feels that way. That is why he didn't go public with his Resolution last week. If they can do their dealings in the back room and under the table, they accomplish more.

Given the circumstances, our group has been out here fighting this thing as best we could. We started this fight with the Pavilion. If it weren't for the Pavilion, we wouldn't be fighting the WFB now.

If it hadn't been for our people fighting for Fayette County, the 2009 SPLOST would have been rammed down our throats and Smith and Maxwell would have been reelected. So, we are out here, Nuk. We are organized and we are working every single day.

Some folks have continued to talk about bringing Fayette into the 21 century. In order to do that, we have to first shine a light on the dirty politics.

Mike King's picture

Please show us where NUK, Hutch or I supported the WFB or the SPLOST to pay for it. It ain't there. For my part, I could not support Brown due solely to his term of office as mayor of PTC. What you fail to realize is that the citizens of Fayette County by popular vote approving the SPLOST and associated projects.

A new 'dynamic duo' of commissioners is not going to change the election. It is regretable that the intelligent voters of Fayette County proved apathetic causing grief to a few holdout landowners, but it is the law. For the commission to do otherwise would subject the county to an unwinnable lawsuit. Do you deny that the preponderance of the land required is already in the possession of developers.

Your line of thinking reminds me of the Senior Senator from Massachusetts who stated, "I voted for the war before I voted against it."

The milk has been spilled, deal with it.

I went to a meeting sponsored by the WFB coalition and they showed everyone a copy of the ballot. The bypass was not on the ballot. The 51 percent who voted for the SPLOST took the commission's word that the projects were valid.

Well, we all know now it was a crock.

Mike, they don't have to build the bypass. It's pretty darn obvious the people don't want the bypass.

I was sorry to see that your response amounted to giving Steve Brown a tongue lashing when he actually took a stand in defense of the will of the people.

Your heart isn't in it Mike. Just let'em run over us and laugh all the way home.

I'm not quitting. My letter to the commissioners will hit the mail box Monday.

PTC Observer's picture

Sue them if you don't believe it's legal. I think it's legal.

Dispicable but legal. In fact the whole process has been legal for both the East and West Bypass. The problem is that when all this planning was being done several years ago citizens didn't take an interest in it. Now that it's a done deal and dirt is being moved everyone is up in arms.

Look at the last election and the lack of citizen participation. The biggest disappointment to me has been the lack of an engaged citizenry at the local level. No one cares.

You may be able to slow them down but we are going to have the west bypass.

Sorry but you get the kind of government that you deserve when you don't participate, and I don't mean participate when it's too late.

For the record, I have never vote for a SPLOST including the one that funded this mess.

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