Letter to City Council

I'm planning on sending this as a e-mail to the city council later this week. I would like you, my brilliant readers, to critique it, and let me know how it could be improved.

Fayetteville City Council, and Mayor Chavonne:

My name is Jeremy Mathis, and I am writing, regarding the rezoning of the property at the corner of Reilly Road & Telfair Ave. I live in within the notification range and also am a staff member of LaGrange Park Baptist Church

What are the concerns of our church? In other words, why would we care enough for me to send you this letter?

First, we are concerned about the potential for business that might move in. I have not seen any plan as to what may open up in the property, there are no restrictions over what kind of business may move in. To put it plainly there are certain things we as a church do not want to have right next door. And regardless of what it is planned as now, once it is rezoned, there is no controlling what it might become in a few years

Secondly, we want to be the LaGrange Park Church. We are not interested in becoming between the Fast food restaurant and used car lot. Help us prevent what has happened to the Yadkin Road churches.

Thirdly, we desire to be an advocate for our community, at least to the degree that it's desire is moral. Very clearly, the will of the neighborhood is to keep that property zoned residential. It will suffice to remind you that the city council is elected, and the count in the zoning board meeting was about 20 opposed and 3 (consisting of the 2 property owners and their lawyer) in favor.

Fourthly, the only entrance to the property is from Telfair Avenue. There is no Reilly Road entrance. Therefore the only way to enter any future businesses located on this property would be to enter the neighborhood. This moves traffic further back into the neighborhood, and closer to our homes and children.

The lawyer speaking in favor, Mr Charleston, will say…

that a property owner has the right to the “highest & best” use of his property. – I honestly do not know what he means by “highest.” But as to “best,” we would all be in agreement. A property owner is entitled to the best use of his or her property. Best, however, is a contextual term. If one buys a residential property, it seems that the best use of it would be for residential. The owner can sell it, rent it out, or improve upon the property. But the best use of a residential property is residential. I definitely don’t think that this council wants to begin to say that all property is best used as commercial.

that the character of Reilly Rd is commercial. – I submit to you this photograph. Although, three of the properties in view in this photo are commercial, the character of the road is not overwhelmingly so. As you look towards the church, you see trees rather than buildings. The only sign is the one for the nail salon.

that the church is essentially a commercial property. – I would argue that we are not commercial. We are not commercial in terms of mission or function, or for the purposes that affect this council. We meet on Sunday mornings and evenings. Low traffic times on Reilly Rd, and we therefore have little impact or effect on the traffic footprint. Otherwise on Wednesday evenings we meet at 7:00 p.m. and the rush has long since dispersed when our traffic is generated.

that there is no opposition from adjacent homes. – I say there are at least three currently empty homes in the circle. Furthermore, at least 3 of the homes in the circle are rental properties, the owners do not live there, so of course they do not care if traffic is moved closer to their homes. And there are 3 representatives of properties within the circle, here speaking in opposition.

many similar properties all over town have been rezoned - I say that those do not matter, we are only dealing with one property now and should only look at the case in hand. My mother would say, "if all your friends jumped off a cliff would you?" Please don’t jump off that cliff.

You may be thinking the die is cast, and that Reilly Road is destined to become a commercial zone. I submit that you are the holders of the die, and it will only become what you, the council, allow it to become. I would like to think that you had a very compelling reason to overrule the entire neighborhood, by rezoning this property. I urge you, don’t do it.