By Roger Pugh and Matt Montgomery
Piedmont Board of Adjustments (PBOA) member Dr. Tamra States resigned today (Thursday) from that board, apparently amid a battle she thinks might be starting to brew over the location of the proposed new Piedmont Area Veteran’s Center.
“…there are political factions in Piedmont and as a business owner, I cannot afford to make a vote that will upset either side, States said in her resignation letter to Mayor Valerie Thomerson, delivered Thursday to city hall. States is a Chiropractor with a practice here in Piedmont.
She said she felt the situation would be a ‘no win’ for her and her business, no matter how she voted on the matter to grant certain variances on the property where the veteran’s group is proposing to build the center.
“I have friends and patients on both sides of the issue,” she said.
A group of Piedmont military veterans have organized a non-profit organization, the Piedmont Area Veterans Association, Inc, (PAVA) to build a proposed center for area veterans and to house military memorabilia from these veterans.
The group has received a donation of land located on Edmond Road, west of Piedmont Road, near the civic center on which to build the center. PAVA is now raising funds to begin construction of the facility.
However, PAVA has had to ask the PBOA to grant a variance to existing ordinances so that construction can begin. The land was donated by Piedmont developer Phil Boevers.
In a memo to the PBOA, PAVA Chairman Leon Meyer asked the board to grant a width variance on the frontage of the property from the 75 feet, currently required by the City to 70 feet, which is the width of the parcel. The group is also asking for a variance to allow a five-foot side setback rather than the required 15–foot side setback, and a five-foot rear setback rather than the required 30-foot rear setback. PAVA is also asking for an exception to the “lot-split” requirement for the property.
States said she did not feel pressured to vote one way or another on granting the requested variance. However, she indicated she felt any upcoming vote by the board would result in controversy and hard feelings between those who might favor the building being built in that location, and those who might oppose construction at the Edmond Road site.
“Maybe I perceive a problem that doesn’t exist or might not arise,” States said, but she said she thinks factions she believes to exist will surface during the debate.
“I think it is a sad commentary that this decision (to resign) had to be made,” States said in her resignation letter.
The other members on the BOA are Bill Long, Bobby Williamson, Lois Dickerson and Brad Mess.