It’s peace time in America, but our home is under siege by Greenville County. Can someone let Congressman Trey Gowdy know what’s happening back home in his district?
Greenville County and Roper Mountain Estates subdivision (where County Councilman Jim Burns also lives) have closed off one of their two entrances to use our narrow road, they have declared the private road on which we live to be a one-way street, dug it up without a right-of-way, to install a sewer for a nearby restaurant, and nearby developers plan to use the sewer tap placed illegally on our property and then run another sewer line using an easement that is, again, in violation of Greenville County rules. Then Greenville County sent us a notice that our property, though no longer accessible from Roper Mountain Road, has increased in value so that they will need to charge us more tax.
How could this state of affairs come about? Well first, understand that Greenville County Councilman James F. Burns lives in the subdivision, as did former Greenville County Councilman Dana Sullivan.
1. Can a County Councilman approve that a private road be stolen for his own convenience? Can you grab someone’s child, change her clothes, change her name, feed her, and then announce that she’s your daughter? Or do you have to go through adoption proceedings if the parents are willing to give her away, and if the judge decides that you qualify? Can Greenville County rename a private road, pave it using taxpayer money, and then announce that it’s theirs, put up One-Way signs on it:
and announce that it’s only for Roper Mountain Estates subdivision where County Councilman Jim Burns lives? This is where the analogy with the kidnapper breaks down because the kidnapper must operate in secret. Greenville’s band of rogues have confiscated a private road in broad daylight, knowing full well that the victim who lives on it and is the rightful owner has no legal way home. We did manage to get business cards of three of the Greenville County employees that were swarming around our road when the County had it torn up to put in a sewer under it for Bucky’s Barbecue across the street:
2. Where is it written that subdivisions only needed one entrance at the time the main RME entrance was closed, as claimed in the RME meeting minutes?
3. What was the reason the main subdivision entrance on Meadowsweet was closed? 4. Why was the larger entrance closed?
4. Who decided which entrance should be closed?
5. Who at the County evaluated and approved this?
6. Can a County Councilman use taxpayer money to pave and repair a private road for his subdivision?
7. Can the County prevent taxpayers from using the road they paid to repair?
8. Do taxpayers have a right to refuse to do these types of repairs?
9. If the taxpayers are refused access to a road they paid to repair, who can they sue to get their rights back? The County? The Councilmen? The subdivision? I feel sorry for the mothers in the subdivision who have to take their children to school and get in and out numerous time to run errands a day and risk their safety at the small intersection with Roper Mountain Road.
10. Would you rather Roper Mountain Estates re-open their own entrance on Meadowsweet, or use County money to widen the narrow private Roper Mountain Court that they’ve commandeered. If you don’t do something, history suggests they’ll do what’s best for them.
11. Since your tax money has been used to make repairs to, and put up signs and speed bumps on, Roper Mountain Court, do you not have a right to use this road. It’s shorter. Many people have already found out about this faster express lane with no traffic lights and no waiting. Why not use it?
Okay, let’s concede that whoever lives on Meadowsweet Lane is too important to be subjected to regular through traffic by reopening the main subdivision entrance they closed. Why is Greenville County spending untold amounts beautifying and widening Roper Mountain Road near “Councilman Country” (from Snipes to Feaster Roads), but the County has done nothing to widen the intersection of Roper Mountain Road and Roper Mountain Court? Isn’t it because despite the bluster and claims made to us by some of the County employees whose business cards were shown above, they know Greenville County has no right of way on the road. County Councilmen are supposed to help taxpayers, not themselves. So to give the appearance of popular support, they persuaded RME residents to write dozens of form letters, most with identical wording.
Jim Burns will be leaving office in December 2016. He needs to answer why the residents of Roper Mountain Estates subdivision got form letters to push Greenville County to widen this private road with taxpayer money.
Can we not please have access to own home from Roper Mountain Road again? We can see our house and could throw a rock to it from Roper Mountain Road, but we just can’t get to it now without driving an an extra mile through RME subdivision?
It’s sad that one or two bad county councilmen can damage the reputation of all the others. With new elections coming up soon and Jim Burns announcing that he will not seek re-election, beware! If you’re not careful, a new bully could come to a neighborhood near you!
1. The one-way sign must be removed from our road so that we can drive to our house legally.
2. In their meeting minutes Roper Mountain Estates (RME) subdivision said they closed the larger of their two entrances (the one on Meadowsweet) because according to the regulations, “RME is fine with only one entrance”:
(See their meeting minutes). If RME decides they want back a second entrance, they need to reopen what they closed, and do it at their own expense, not taxpayer’s expense.
This was also brought up at the RME Homeowners Association meeting:
$60,000 to move a pile of dirt? Sounds like they need a second estimate. Any volunteers to move a pile of dirt, or berm, for less than $60k? Oops, that’s right; did Greenville County eliminate the requirement for competitive bidding in 1997? (see Sloan v. Greenville County, SC Court of Appeals 2002). Did the County invoke the exception? Actually, even the outrageous $60k is still probably cheaper than having County taxpayers pay to widen Luest Road, even if the property on either side of it were taken outside of law.
As Hesha Gamble said at the RME meeting, “RME does not have to add any new entrances” because the end of Meadowsweet Lane “used to be an entranceway in the past.” (see the excerpt of their meeting minutes below.)
What ever happened to Hesha’s estimate?
Some RME residents even want Meadowsweet reopened. Why not? Isn’t it about safety? Who was it on Meadowsweet that was so important that hundreds of families have to circle all around, in and out, daily? (Former County Councilman Dana Sullivan lived on Meadowsweet.) Who put the dirt on that entrance? As for compensation to those on Meadowsweet, what compensation did the Meadowsweet residents give to close it, and to whom did they give it? If not them, who paid to cover the Meadowsweet entrance with a load of dirt?
3. The Luest Road section of Roper Mountain Court must be renamed “Luest Road” (it was renamed Roper Mountain Court to give the illusion that RME’s right of way on their Court continued on to Luest Road. No right of way was ever given.)
4. We have the right to put back the gate dividing Roper Mountain Court from Luest Road. To avoid any problems like we’re facing now, it’s better that we exercise our right and we seal it.