The Fayette Citizen-News Page
Wednesday, December 16, 1998
Threats halted Starr's Mill store vote?

Staff Writer

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Retiring Fayette County Commission chairman Robert Sprayberry declines to respond to rumors that anonymous threats prompted his refusal to vote last week on zoning for a proposed convenience store across from Starr's Mill.

Following a confusing series of failed motions, the commission voted to table the rezoning request until Jan. 28, after newly elected commissioner Linda Wells takes Sprayberry's seat on the commission and commissioner-elect Greg Dunn replaces Commissioner Scott Burrell.

Commissioner Harold Bost made the first motion to table, seconded by Sprayberry, but the vote failed 3-2.

Then Commissioner Herb Frady moved to table the vote until Dec. 15, but at least two commissioners said they could not attend a called meeting.

Sprayberry then made the motion, seconded by Bost, again to table until Jan. 28, and that motion also failed 3-2.

"I will abstain," Sprayberry told the standing-room-only crowd in the commission meeting room.

Frady then made a motion to table the discussion until Jan. 28 and, with Bost and Sprayberry in favor, it passed 3-2.

"I have no comment," Sprayberry said Friday in response to rumors that he had been threatened.

Brent Scarbrough is asking for LC (limited commercial) zoning for 2.5 acres at the corner of Ga. Highway 85 and the 85 Connector for a "country store," a controversial request that has sparked active neighborhood protest.

Neighbors say the proposed store would be too close to homes, and its gasoline pumps would be too close to a future county drinking water reservoir.

Commissioners-elect Wells and Dunn had written letters to sitting commissioners asking that the request be tabled until January, but Sprayberry had indicated no interest in doing so. "That's not a prudent way to do business," Sprayberry said when the question came up in November.

"People have a right to file for zoning and have a hearing. I'm not going to shirk my job or my responsibilities."

This is the third time this decade that developers have sought zoning for a store across from Fayette's most famous historical landmark.

Two previous requests were denied by commissioners, but Bob Rolader, agent for Scarbrough, has argued that this request is for a more limited commercial activity than the previous requests.

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