City to stick with approved Phase II curbing plan

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By Shannon Brock

The Taylorsville City Commission voted Tuesday afternoon to stand by its approved curbing plans for Phase II of the Main Street project, despite a request from local property owners, John and Judy Shircliffe.

The approved plans for Phase II included a curb and sidewalk in the place of what until this week was Main Street access in front of the Sanctuary Arts Center on the corner of Main and Jefferson streets.
At its September meeting, the commission voted 4-1 to deny a change order request that would allow the Shircliffes to maintain their street access. Mayor Don Pay was the lone dissenting vote.
At the time, commissioners stressed that out of fairness to other  property owners who had made similar requests and were denied, they would also deny the Shircliffes’ request.
“I can’t do for one what I couldn’t do for the other two,” Commissioner Kathy Spears said at the Sept. 4 meeting.
The other two properties Spears referenced are the Tea Cup, owned by David and Lorie Young, and the property directly across Main Street from the Shircliffes, which was owned by Kent Stevens. (Stevens recently sold the property; at press time it was unclear who was the current owner.)
Commissioners Nathan Nation, Beverly Ingram and Larry Waldridge expressed similar sentiments during that meeting.
The following Thursday, Sept. 6, the commission took a “field trip” to see firsthand the progress being made on Main Street.
While out, commissioners approved two green spaces, which were not a part of the original plan. One of the spaces will be in front of the Tea Cup, the other will be in front of T&R Antiques.
The issue of the Shircliffe property was raised again during that visit down Main Street, but no action was taken, meaning the Sept. 4 denial would still stand.
Between those meetings and this Tuesday’s special meeting of the commission, John Shircliffe and City Clerk Steve Biven exchanged several emails regarding the Shircliffe’s expectation that they would be allowed to keep part of their Main Street access.
That exchange also included a forwarded email from a representative from the state Department of Transportation’s permit office. In it, John Shircliffe was informed that the state would most likely allow a 24-foot access onto Main Street and that it was neither the state’s “request or recommendation” that it be closed off.
Tuesday’s special city meeting was called primarily to discuss this issue.
The Shircliffes were in attendance and asked the commission to consider reversing its Sept. 4 vote.
Commissioners Nation and Spears noted that the request was made during the “11th hour,” and Biven, the city clerk, said the Phase II project was scheduled to be completed by Friday.
John Shircliffe noted that he contacted the city on Aug. 30 to voice his request and didn’t expect it to become an issue.
Commissioner Ingram noted that John Shircliffe is on the Main Street committee and has been involved in the project since it was initiated several years ago. Shircliffe has used his skillsets to draw up renditions of the Phase II plans.
Nation made a motion to rescind the commission’s Sept. 4 denial; the motion was seconded by Pay. However, it failed by a 2-3 vote, and the Sept. 4 denial still stands.
Judy Shircliffe asked the city again to reconsider, citing the new information from the state.
Waldridge stated that he had all the information he needed.
Clearly upset with the commission’s decision, Judy Shircliffe asked what right the city had to take their property.
“This is wrong,” she said. “This looks retaliatory and mean.”
Spears, Ingram and Waldridge maintained it would be unfair to grant the Shircliffes’ request without granting the prior requests brought before it. Work in front of the other two properties has already been completed.