06/07/05 — Pikeville man's grass is ticklish issue

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Pikeville man's grass is ticklish issue

By Turner Walston
Published in News on June 7, 2005 1:46 PM

PIKEVILLE -- A resident asked the Pikeville Board of Commissioners to send him a citation on his lawn at the board's meeting Monday night.

In the public forum portion of the meeting, Dennis Lewis presented the board with ways in which he thought it discriminated against some residents.

"Let's talk about my grass. Each year the town sends letters to citizens informing them that their grass is out of compliance with the town ordinance. There is no one in this town that openly defies this ordinance more than me," Lewis said.

He said he had told board members in the past that he would take a citation if sent one.

"I have not received one of these letters since September 2003, yet others have. I can't have people thinking I enjoy a special privilege."

Lewis said he believes his grass is out of compliance. "Let the town manager investigate and send a letter if warranted. I will ignore the letter and citation and be issued with a court date to resolve the matter," he said.

Lewis said he was confident in prevailing in court. "This will accomplish two things. First, it will prove that you are not treating me any different than anyone else. Second, I will be able to prove to members of this board that I am neither stupid or crazy. I am, however, unorthodox in my tactics."

Resident Steve West called attention back to Lewis' lawn. "What about the man's grass? Is anything going to be done about that?" "That's rodents, snakes. That's a public nuisance."

West also said that Lewis had two "run-down" cars in his yard. West said he himself owned an antique car that he was told to dispose of to comply with the town's ordinance.

"I got rid of it, to comply with the town. But now, he's got two over there, and he doesn't have to comply. I want to know why."

Sieger turned toward Police Chief Ken Barrett. "Chief Barrett, would you see that you execute the proper procedures?"

"Not a problem, sir," Barrett responded.

Also at the meeting, Verna Best, community services block grants manager for WAGES Community Action Agency asked the board to help establish a resident council or community watch group in the town. She asked the board members to consider elected a representative of the community to assist in program planning and serve on the group's board of directors.

Sieger said the board would take the request under advisement.

The board discussed a request for rezoning at 634 Washington St. The owner, Dan VanDevender, had asked for the property to be re-zoned from rural agricultural for commercial use. According to the request, the change would not alter existing land use.

Currently, board members said the town has "business" and "community shopping" designations. Town attorney Jean Hollowell recommended the town adopt a "commercial" designation. A special meeting was scheduled for July 6 to discuss the matter.

Graves said the work on Dees Memorial Park would be nearly complete in time for the July 2 Independence Day celebration. He said the park's stage would be going up soon, and the walking trail was complete.