published Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Catoosa County 'yard sale' that never ends annoying neighbors

by Andy Johns

RINGGOLD, Ga. — Catoosa County commissioners decided to place no-parking signs and alert sheriff's deputies to what neighbors say is a flea market that is skirting the rules.

"The people are trying to circumvent all of the rules that most of the neighbors in Catoosa County go by," said Commissioner Jim Cutler.

Casaloma Trail resident Katie Henderson told commissioners a flea market on her street was shut down by the county early this year but the operators reopened it as a yard sale that runs four days a week. She said the market, which can have as many as six tents, is an eyesore and blocks traffic.

Resident Gary Eaves said he is tired of seeing a yard sale next door four days a week for six weeks.

"My property values are going down every day," Eaves told the commissioners.

Commission Chairman Keith Greene and Cutler instructed county workers to place "no-parking" signs along the road and pledged to alert the sheriff's office about the traffic issues.

Cutler and Greene said such markets would be addressed when the county reworks its regulations.

"It's an example of why we're reviewing all of the ordinances in the county," Cutler said.

In other action, commissioners granted a variance to a family who mistakenly built up a hill in a flood zone. Adam and Wendy Dodge on Stancil Road told commissioners they spent $35,000 to move and to bring in fill dirt to build up a level area for their double-wide trailer, before they learned that it was against the county's Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance. The ordinance does not allow fill dirt in flood zones and would have required the Dodges to remove the mound and install cinder block piers to raise the trailer up before they could use utilities.

Bart Crattie, the couple's contractor and a certified flood plain manager, said the ordinance's requirement was unusual.

Commissioners voted unanimously to grant the variance which allows the mound to remain, based on specific criteria giving them the authority to do so if it causes significant hardship to the residents and doesn't cause any adverse impact on the stream.

Greene made it clear that Crattie and the couple would not be allowed to add on to the project.

about Andy Johns...

Andy began working at the Times Free Press in July 2008 as a general assignment reporter before focusing on Northwest Georgia and Georgia politics in May of 2009. Before coming to the Times Free Press, Andy worked for the Anniston Star, the Rome News Tribune and the Campus Carrier at Berry College, where he graduated with a communications degree in 2006. He is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Tennessee ...

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