By Barry Merrill
The Calypso Planning Board recommended the town take legal steps to allow a property owner to get clear title to sell her property, but after the planning board chairman left, some board members said they resented him telling them what they should do.
The Town Board called for a public hearing to officially abandon three never-constructed streets on the Old Boykin Park property owned by Barbara Alphin during their November Town Board meeting. The action was voted during last Monday’s September Town Board meeting.
Planning Board Chairman Roger Davis said Mrs. Alphin’s attorney contacted the town when he found a town map from 1903 which granted the town the right-of-way to extend Third St. across her property as expansions were envisioned. As those plans were long ago abandoned but never officially rescinded, Mrs. Alphin does not have clear title to that part of her property.
In consultation with the town attorney, Mr. Davis recommended that the town “abandon” their rights to her land.
Commissioner Bill Rose, recognizing that similar plans to extend Warren St. and Patton St. on other property Mrs. Alphin owns, suggested that those extensions also be abandoned at that time.
The board approved unanimously.
Mr. Davis also reported that the special use permit conditions have not been successfully addressed on the conditionally-approved solar farm application. One proposed agreement has been rejected.
After his report, an unemotional Mr. Davis left to harvest corn before the hurricane hit.
Another solar farm special use application fee was discussed. The board considered whether the fee for an application which was subsequently withdrawn should be refunded. The board ruled that it was not refundable, and it will be added to the application.
That re-opened emotions over the planning board.
Commissioner David Tyndall opined that the special use permits should come before the town board before going to the planning board so they could decide before the referral.
Mr. Rose chimed in as well, saying the planning board should be serving the town board, not the other way around.
Commissioner Debbie Jones, who served on the planning board before her election to the town board, defended the planning board. Ms. Jones said they do the leg work to find the legalities that govern what the town can and can’t do, and worked very hard to help legally restrict billboards and solar farms.