Letter: Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right

On August 2, 2019, the Ridgeway Zoning Administrator made a recommendation approving the rezoning of the property on Main Street at the intersection of Hwy 34 and Hwy 21 from R-1 to C-1. On September 16, 2019, the Ridgeway Board of Zoning Appeals rescinded that decision due to a technicality based on the procedure (or lack thereof) followed by the Town’s Planning Commission and Zoning Administrator.

As the vote was made, it was disturbing that a neighboring landowner and sitting member of the Board of Appeals did not recuse herself from the hearing. This member of the Zoning Board of Appeals has publicly documented and proclaimed her objection to previous zoning requests. She has personally lobbied against the rezoning, provided damaging letters to Town Council, and even written a letter of opposition to the Editor of the Voice (Sept. 8, 2016). When questioned, she refused to abstain. By not excusing herself from the hearing further reveals the Boards misinterpretation of the law – thus creating a potential ethics violation and casting serious doubt on the system itself.

The re-classification of this property has been held up long enough by shenanigans of incompetent board members abusing their position. Continuously blaming procedural technicalities to sabotage the process is ridiculous and borderline unethical. It has become comical how these committees are manipulating procedure to impede progress and infringe on individual property rights for personal motives and selfish agendas.

The use of a property should not be held captive to a biased committee that has wrongfully denied a zoning request due to the fault of the Zoning Administrator, not the applicant.

The recent decision should be invalid and have no bearing on a new request, just as the zoning request was denied. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Reconsideration of this decision should be reexamined and acted upon impartially with adequate oversight and involvement by Town Council.

Russ Brown

Winnsboro