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Edgefield County, South Carolina

May 4, 2005

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Lacy needs to get a clue

web posted May 4, 2005

The Edgefield County Council shut the hopes developer Jay Lacy had for a strip mall and grocery store commercial development in Merriwether down at their regular monthly meeting May 3, 2005. This was his second request in two years.

In 2003 Lacy presented a petition he claimed had the signatures of every bordering property owner only to have one present who stated he never signed any such petition. Also Lacy has no one standing in support of his twice proposed development. Council let the issue die in 2003 due to a lack of motion for a vote. Twice denied, maybe Lacy is the one who needs a road map to reality.

Edgefield Daily.com spoke with his neighboring property owners and they do not support his project. Local residents do not support his project and one, Lenny Birt, stood at the council meeting saying allowing Lacy to get a zoning change would “destroy Merriwether” and “what makes it unique”.

We agree with Mr. Birt.

If the county allows a single change in the zoning they forced on Merriwether they are going to see a flood of requests, which they will not be able to deny once one is granted.  We do not support the private property rights of individual property owners being dictated by government, but Lacy is getting a taste of what so many others who stood against zoning Merriwether in 1999 had to face. Welcome to the club. You got what you wanted, now deal with it.

However Lacy claims his strip mall and grocery store would increase tax revenues, as if money grants him special privileges over other property owners. That is also just an assertion on his part, total speculation. He cannot guarantee the revenues nor can he guarantee he could even fill his project with clients. He makes a lot of claims but shows little to back those claims up in the past.

In any event, Lacy has again been turned away by the county council and rightly so. If council had voted on the measure two years ago this would be the end of it. They did not and Lacy, even with this vote, can return once more to try his luck again.

Knowing nothing is going to change the present council’s mind the only hope Lacy has is to replace a majority of council with those who would support his request. Good luck!

Lacy, who has run failed candidacies from Sheriff to County Council is unlikely to gain a majority of county support when he cannot get community support, receiving the fewest votes of four candidates for the Merriwether District race for council.

We are going to listen to the tapes of the county council meeting for the not so veiled threats Lacy laid out for council. One claiming, if our ears were not deceiving us, that 16,000 people live in the Merriwether area and that Merriwether gets what it wants. Lacy referred to council not wanting a high school for Merriwether and “now we have Fox Creek”.

Get real Mr. Lacy!

The School Board determines where schools go not council, and 16,000 in Merriwether?

Perhaps Mr. Lacy was a bit taken being informed so late in the meeting his request had already been shot down. In honesty, however, he could have just read The Insider to see what the vote was going to be. The readers of Edgefield Daily.com are among the most informed on county happenings.

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