City again denies Shircliffes’ Main Street access

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By Shannon Brock

A Main Street property owner appeared before the Taylorsville City Commission last Tuesday night to give members one last chance to right the wrong he believes was done to his property.
John Shircliffe, who, with his wife, Judy, owns the Sanctuary Arts Center at the corner of Main and Jefferson streets, asked the commission last week to restore the Main Street access taken away during the Phase II Main Street Project renovations.
“I want to ask the commission to replace the drive that was taken away,” Shircliffe said during the time allotted for public comment.
Last Tuesday was the regular December meeting of the commission and — unless a special meeting is called between now and the end of the year — was the last meeting of the current commission.
Commissioners Larry Waldridge and Nathan Nation opted not to run for re-election this past November, and beginning in January, Melissa Ellen Redmon and Jack Proctor will fill those seats.
Shircliffe said he wanted to give the current commission a last chance to correct what he believes was a violation of his rights as a property owner.
After hearing Shircliffe’s request, Nation asked Kevin Sisler, of Sisler-Maggard, who led the Phase II construction, if any leftover money from the project could be used to put back in the drive in front of the Sanctuary.
Sisler responded that he wasn’t sure, but could check.
Nation then made a motion to explore whether the money could be used to replace the drive and to obtain pricing estimates for the cost it would take to put in a 24-foot drive, which was the recommended width from the state transportation cabinet.
Mayor Don Pay seconded the motion. However, the motion failed 2-3, with Waldridge, Spears and Ingram voting no.
That vote mirrored one taken during a Sept. 18 meeting.
The first vote taken to deny the Shircliffes’ request was on Sept. 4, and at the time Nation voted with the majority.
However, between the Sept. 4 and 18 meetings, Nation said he received information that changed his mind.
Nation said that at first he wanted to be fair to other business owners who had had similar requests.
Nation also cited Shircliffe’s involvement in the Main Street Committee (he served as president and most recently as the design chairperson; Shircliffe has since resigned from the committee) as a reason why he thinks the Shircliffes could have made their request earlier than Aug. 30 when the Phase II Main Street Project was already underway.
However, the deciding factor for Nation in changing his vote was some email communication between Shircliffe and the state transportation cabinet. That email gave Nation the impression that if the Shircliffes were to apply for the access, it would be granted to them.
“I did not think it was worth spending the money to put [the curb] in, and then make him go back, apply for a permit and put his entrance back in that was there anyway,” Nation said after the Sept. 18 meeting.
Still, the commission’s decision remained the same and any further action will be left in the hands of the new commission in the new year.