Subdivision violators before 1996 given amnesty
by Anthony Gonzalez
Town of Elkin commissioners at Monday’s meeting voted to give amnesty to property owners who violated a 1974 subdivision ordinance.
In July of 1974, the Town of Elkin adopted the ordinance to curb developments from illegally emerging subdivisions without the approval of town officials.
“The problem with the 1974 ordinance was that it was not enforced,” said Town attorney Raymond Parker. “Though the new ordinance created by the Town in 1996 does enforce and monitor subdivision violations, we still have existing violators who created subdivisions from 1974 through 1996.”
According to Parker, the town can’t do anything about the past subdivision violations, one of which includes the house of Mayor Lestine Hutchens. She was not the developer.
“We are not able to pursue this matter legally, and what we need to do is cure all issues involving unapproved subdivisions during the contested dates,” said Parker. “We need to enforce the 1996 ordinance and move forward.”
The Town of Elkin Planning Board recommended the Board of Commissioners to adopt a resolution repealing the 1974 ordinance.
Town commissioners adopted the resolution unanimously.
When asked about current enforcement and policy, Town of Elkin Planning Director George H. Crater said, “Due to the small area we have in jurisdiction no lots have been developed without the knowledge of staff or elected officials. The bottom line is we keep up with all new developments, and if there is a nonconformance we immediately send out violation letters. Fines will be attached as tax liens.”
In North Carolina, it is a misdemeanor to violate a subdivision ordinance that would include developers or any owner who sells a lot or parcel in an unapproved subdivision.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-351-6553 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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