Supervisor: Zoning could jeopardize personal property rights | Community

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By Abby Whitt | Editor

The continued concerns of FloydFest at meetings of the Floyd County Board of Supervisors received a response from the board last week.

Jan Cartwright said she taught at Check Elementary for 27 years and is very proud of the community. His property borders the planned site of FloydFest 2023.

Cartwright said she and her husband “don’t have a problem with FloydFest day people. We have a problem with FloydFest night owls.

“I wish I could sleep during FloydFest, and our pets would love it too,” Cartwright said. She proposed a noise ordinance similar to that of Galax.

Cartwright said she supports the creation of independent committees of the board to review and enforce the county’s comprehensive plan and another to review festival and entertainment ordinances, a plan presented by Check’s Kelly Yeatts during a a previous meeting.

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Cartwright requested that Yeatts be added to the agenda for the night’s meeting to formally discuss the formation of the two committees with the Council.

“I accepted it coming; there are ways to improve it,” Cartwright said.

Dan Vest said the council’s silence on the issue sends two messages: “You can do whatever you want to Floyd if you have enough money” and “residents are secondary”.

He said the venue threatened “country life”, with its planned more than 700 parking spaces and more than 15,000 people attending FloydFest.

The church next to the Festival Park site “…will be collateral damage,” Vest said, due to the council’s inaction.

“If it can happen to Check,” Vest said, “no part of the county is safe.”

Yeatts said she formally submitted a request for an August 23 agenda to discuss forming two committees regarding the planned venue for FloydFest (Cartwright’s prior reference).

She said she had received confirmation that it had been received and sent to the President for approval, and that she had not received any further updates at the time of the meeting.

Yeatts said the findings of the two committees (one to conduct a year-long review and implement Floyd County’s comprehensive plan, and one to review the amusement and amusement ordinance).

She said a “neutral board,” as President Joe Turman called it of the FloydFest discussion at the last meeting, would welcome and encourage citizen participation “to collaborate for the good of the whole county”.

Yeatts said the two committees should present their findings in public hearings and then present their findings to the council.

Committees should also be involved in the process of approving recommendations and changes found, she said.

“If the Council wants to talk about neutrality, it’s time to step up,” Yeatts said.

Three written comments were read by Deputy County Administrator Kim Chiddo on August 23, all of which expressed support for the formation of committees regarding the festival venue by neighboring property owners.

Judy Hubbard, who owns a nearly fifth-generation farm in the area, said the planned festival venue “will forever end our rights to peaceful coexistence with others.”

The proposed traffic pattern, she said, will prevent residents from coming and going as they please and limit access to emergency services.

“Why is this neighborhood being abandoned by the county government in this matter?” said Hubbard.

Mary Ann and Sean Jackson, who have spoken at previous meetings, wrote to express their disappointment that Yeatts was not on the evening’s agenda.

Little River resident Brecc Avellar voiced his support for council and said zoning ordinances have been reviewed by council “for decades.”

They were rejected because no one wants to be told what to do with their land, he said.

“I think we should consider very seriously: what do we want? Do we want zoning or do we not want zoning? This is really the question which, in my opinion, should be put to the Council.

Indian Valley Supervisor Kalinda Bechtold started Board Time and read the 14th Amendment, which protects citizens’ rights to life, liberty and property against state laws passed without due process.

Bechtold said: “It’s quite simple. You want zoning; you want to open this Pandora’s box? Because right now you don’t want FloydFest…the next board members might not want your chickens, your pigs, or your tent revival.

She said you didn’t want to open that door.

“Personal property rights are paramount to liberty, freedom and happiness,” Bechtold said. “That’s what makes Floyd Floyd.”

Turman said when he previously called the board “neutral” it was “in response to a letter that was being read supporting” what the August 23 speakers “oppose.”

“As long as I’m president, we’ll listen to both sides,” Turman said. “I’m going to give everyone the right to speak.”

He said the personal views of council members are personal and do not speak for the council.

Some board members may agree with what the speakers are saying, Turman said, “but we’re not going to sit here and say that.”

“I don’t know why you expect us to help you when you mistreat us, put us down, put us down, accuse us of doing things, when the only thing we’re trying to do is be fair and honest with all citizens,” Turman said.

The Aug. 23 agenda was too packed to add a discussion with Yeatts, Turman said, and he set out some guidelines she can use to formally propose the two committees to the board.

Forming committees takes time, Turman said, and the board will have to consult with the county attorney before anything is approved.

After council hour, council held three in camera sessions, one of which dealt with the opioid regulation.

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