A petition concerning speed humps has recently caused quite a bump in the road for an Evans subdivision.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I look around and I see a subdivision that's very divided over something as simple as a speed hump,'' said county Commissioner Diane Ford to residents of Rivermont Drive in Evans at a Tuesday commission committee meeting. "... I'm just kind of taken aback by this ... I've never seen anything like this.''
At issue was a petition to have speed humps added to Rivermont Drive, a topic that was brought before county officials a second time Tuesday after the validity of a first petition's votes were questioned.
After Tuesday's meeting, the issue also caused Commissioner Steve Brown to wonder whether the county should bump its own petition process, possibly requiring in the future those wanting to petition to pay a fee to have a certified letter sent out by the county to residents, thereby solving any confusion over a petition.
In Tuesday's case, some Rivermont residents said they signed a speed hump petition that was passed around by a neighbor thinking it was for a study concerning speed humps instead of calling for the actual installation of the humps.
Rivermont Drive resident Leo Charette said he thinks some votes counted on the initial petition shouldn't have been included because a few of the lot owners who signed don't have homes on their Rivermont property. He also said some residents stated they weren't given all the information concerning the speed humps when they signed the first petition.
"At this time, the majority of our people don't want this road hump,'' he said, adding that he never saw the first petition and that he feels speed humps would denigrate the look of the neighborhood. Charette did his own survey of residents on Rivermont and said he found several people who wanted to retract their signing of the first petition.
However, Nancy Jackson, a Rivermont Drive resident who started the first petition, said she abided by county policy in how she presented the petition. She said she also received the needed 70 percent approval of 90 percent of those with property abutting the road.
"I was just following the policy that was given to me,'' she said, adding that the speed humps are needed because of a problem of speeding motorists on the road. "...We could rename the street Rivermont Raceway.''
In the end, commissioners were told by county Engineer Miguel Valentin that there is conflicting wording in the county's policy concerning a speed hump approval by a neighborhood. The conflicting wording involves whether a person has to actually have a house on an abutting property to be eligible to vote or whether they simply need to own a vacant lot there. Valentin said his department has interpreted the policy to always include votes from those who simply own a lot abutting the road in question.
With that explanation, committee members then agreed to allow the first petition to pass through to the commission's next full board meeting Sept. 12 for an approval of the speed humps.
Charette said he'll make sure to be at the next meeting, which could come with its own speed hump as Charette says he might issue a legal challenge to a possible ruling in favor of the humps.
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