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Dr. Tamra States resigns from Board of Adjustments, cites political factions: ‘Can’t afford to upset’

By Roger Pugh and Matt Montgomery
editor@piedmontnewsonline.com

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.

56 Comments

  1. grace wolfert says:

    oh great another delay to the Veterans , guess Piedmont hates veterans too?

  2. JT says:

    Some people in Piedmont hate anything that is affiliated with Phil Boevers. Since he donated the land, there must be a conspiracy to do something nefarious or something, I think, maybe, possibly, you know perhaps. Right?

  3. grace wolfert says:

    My understanding is that the Boevers planned storage facility has been approved already, so this is nothiing but a slam to Veterans and a wonderful addition to the city of Piedmont..

  4. JT says:

    Grace,

    No no no. Don’t you listen to your city councilmen? This is how a proper and professional city councilman is quoted in the paper.

    “They have been deceptive and not been honest on the lot and what they are doing is pissing a lot of people off,” Councilman Vernon Woods said about the veterans association.

    So far Charles Coffman has been the only city councilman to show any support for the veterans group. That obviously means he is in cahoots with Boevers must be recalled.

  5. grace wolfert says:

    so either you have a nice facility , asset to Piedmont, with a pretty frontage on the road or you have a chain link gate, some kind of bush and a drive to a storage facility.

  6. JT says:

    What? Don’t try to confuse the argument with facts!

    • grace wolfert says:

      Oh, JT you are such the ‘devils advocate’ ie (at least 4 members of the city council) the devils that they are.

  7. john says:

    I am a bit confused, who is saying anything negative about our great veterans and who hates our vets?

  8. john says:

    About the lot, that’s about right. We have a defective lot that does not fit any of the building lines and set backs on our city ordinances. Now who holds title to this land? Who is in title is required to apply for the variance request. Last records pulled reflect the PAVA is not in title. So who is applying for the variance request on this defective parcel???? Could it be the donor and if so why?

  9. JT says:

    The pronoun “they” in the above quote refers to PAVA, not Boevers and not an inanimate object such as a piece of property. Unless you believe Boevers is now some kind of omnipotent god who exists in multiple persons.

    The Piedmont Area Veterans Association is just a front for Phil Boevers Enterprises eh? Take the tinfoil off your head and calm down.

    What is the point of a variance board if every single lot has to meet the all the requirements of the building line setbacks for every single possible case? That doesn’t make any sense. If you don’t want ANYTHING varying from the city ordinance then abolish the very board that allows the variance in the first place.

    Now back to the original point of your question, please explain how the PAVA has been deceptive and dishonest. I’m not following you on how it is deceptive or dishonest to file for a variance.

  10. john says:

    JT, you are always good for a laugh and by the way I am calm are you? First off I am not here to defend or persecute what some one has been quoted to saying and I’m always taking anybody’s statements
    from individuals with a grain of salt who never attends city council meetings and who cant discuss in content or the correct context from the recent city council discussions in and outside of chamber on the topic we are discussing or what I read in the paper, I verify the facts on the ground or the lot in question. So let’s take a stab at your comment above, you said «what is the point of a variance board if you are going to require all lots to meet the setbacks on all lots.». Those are your words not mine, my question to you was who is in title when application is to be made. Very simple question but you can’t answer or don’t the answer. No one can make application for land use changes, rezoning changes or variance requests on land you do not hold title to. That is very clear and if you don’t know that now you do . Just saying. I’m just airing out that to whoever makes final application will have to provide proof of ownership. I just want it done correctly with no hidden agendas. Is there anything wrong with wanting it done correctly?

    • JT says:

      john
      February 18, 2013 at 11:01 pm
      “I am a bit confused, who is saying anything negative about our great veterans…”

      john
      February 19, 2013 at 5:39 pm
      “First off I am not here to defend or persecute what some one has been quoted to saying…”

  11. JT says:

    Here is my direct quote: “What is the point of a variance board if every single lot has to meet the all the requirements of the building line setbacks for every single possible case?” Not that paraphrased bunch of nonsense you wrote that isn’t grammatically correct. My point was the variance board exists for cases just like this when the piece of property doesn’t meet the setback requirements required by ordinance. Variance requests are not that uncommon in land develoment projects. Maybe they are a big deal in Piedmont, but to quote the Hildabeast “What difference does it make?”

    I suppose now Vernon was misquoted or his quote wasn’t put in the right context. Whatever you say. After all you attend all the city council meetings and have a photographic memory.

    You are correct. The person who makes the application for the variance should be the owner. As far as I am concerned that is just a technicality because the paperwork hasn’t went through at the courthouse. The kind of technicalities that government officials love to use to against people.

    Or am I supposed to believe that the transfer of the land was an elaborate scheme cooked up by Boevers so he could get the variance he wants to build something else? The PAVA is just a front group created by him to use to get the variance approved? Give me a break.

    Why can’t all parties come out and say exactly what they think. There are certain people who despise, loath and hate anything the guy does and will do whatever it takes to stop anything he is associated with. This is simply one of those cases.

  12. john says:

    You are correct to agree with me that the person applying for a variance must be in title. That is what I was stating from the very beginning. Again just wanting it done correct and above board JT as I know you want it done right as well.

  13. JT says:

    So when the the paperwork is filed at the courthouse you’ll support this 100% John?

  14. john says:

    If the title has transferred then I will wait for the city professionals, ie city planner, fire chief, city engineer and the city managers recommendation to the board of adjustments before I say a blanket yes for the variance approvals. But the concept of a VA annex I have always supported from the beginning, however the two issues are separate and independent from the other. That’s why I can’t understand the claims of some that when some one is questioning the defective lot some one hates vets or against our veterans.

  15. john says:

    I meant to say variance requests not approvals

  16. JT says:

    I still have to wonder if any of this would be an issue if someone else like the Simpson family had donated the lot.

    After living here 4+ years I don’t think it matters what Boevers does, someone is going to find a reason to oppose it, even if there isn’t anything wrong.

  17. john says:

    JT, you may think whatever you want too, but as an engineer you can’t base your professional opinions on claims, statements or abstract thoughts, I want to hear from the city professional and what they have to say from the fully disclosed application on the request of variance. As you said this happens in all developments wth irregular lots, I agree then I guess the city will need not just see the plans from the PAVA and their prosed building the the city must also see the proposed expansion of the RV storage and the on site storge facility and how it abuttes to the PAVA building ot to be able to review the complete impact to these certain specific variances.

  18. JT says:

    John,

    I refuse to believe you are that naive, but perhaps you are. I can’t say with 100% certainty that I base ALL my professional opinions on claims, statements or abstract thoughts, after all I am human and not a machine. You would be quite surprised at how many engineers have biases that affect their ability to think rationally. Furthermore, I seriously doubt that everyone involved in the decision making process can take a step back, forget the past, and proceed with out any predisposed ideas

    However as an engineer I know that politics always wins out over common sense, logic and rational thought ,especially when engineering and governmental organizations are involved. I see it happen every day. Politics is involved in everything, including engineering.

  19. john says:

    Well since neither you or me have seen the building plans, the full extent of the 5 variances requested from the PAVA or the building plan of the on site storage facility which is the by product that aided in creating this irregular lot that will be scrutinized by the city professionals that will later have to provide the final recommendation to approve or disapprove of the variances, then the politics of the board of adjustments will either choose politics or what’s best for Piedmont. And if engineers allow personal bias guide them on the facts of what they are working on to provide guidance as financially compensated professional, then their professional opinion is not worth the paper they published their opinion. I guess that is why on the history channel I enjoy watching the engineering blunders that engineers create. Maybe they too allow politics and personal bias replace common sense and good judgement.

  20. JT says:

    There’s no such thing as common sense. If it was common everyone would have it. Everyone makes mistakes. The problem is that the mistakes are multiplied by the magnitude of the importance of the mistake. Forget to bring your lunch to work and you will be hungry at 12:00. Fat finger a number on a keyboard, well that could have major financial or safety impacts. That’s why you are required to have insurance though. Shame on you for enjoying the shame and misery of some unfortunate people who make honest mistakes.

    I must say you have a strange worldview. You see all these people as perfect angels doing what’s best for everyone guided by facts and not emotion, bias, tradition or the rigid rules enforced by their boss. Spock is a fictional character my friend. You obviously have never dealt any engineering based government agency. They all have internal politics that drive how they function.

    Why do you do things this way? Because that’s how we’ve always done it. What if we did this? No. Do it this way or it won’t be approved. But you see I have these calculations that show this works and so and so built it like this in such and such place and it works great. Well I don’t care you’re not in such and such place you are here and we’ve always done it this way and that’s the only way we allow it. Yes but it would cost half as much. Did you hear what I said? Don’t question my authority or else I’ll see to it this project is nitpicked to death.

  21. john says:

    JT, excuses are a plenty. Let’s stick to facts as they come to light.

  22. JT says:

    I must say you have a strange worldview. You see all these people as perfect angels doing what’s best for everyone guided by facts and not emotion, bias, tradition or the rigid rules enforced by their boss.

  23. john says:

    JT, your repeating yourself, go outside and enjoy the great outdoors.

  24. JT says:

    I did. You should pull your head out of the sand.

  25. john says:

    Thats good you may want to go back to school and rethink your career path.

  26. john says:

    Im wondering why all of the 13 separate comments that JT spouted off mysteriously are taken down from this thread? Very telling.

  27. JT says:

    Yes I’m wondering too. What rule(s) did I violate? Oh and I don’t “spout off”, I offer my opinion like everyone else.

  28. JT says:

    Apparently they didn’t like any comment I ever made on any story, so they deleted every comment I’ve ever made.

    I guess my critique of their story on Senator Johnson’s wind farm bill didn’t sit well with them. The story as written still doesn’t make sense.

  29. john says:

    Thats censorship.

  30. JT says:

    OK they didn’t delete all my comments. The ones frome November 20, 2012 and before are still there.

  31. john says:

    Well I know I don’t agree with you most of the time but your comments Did not need to be taken down. Maybe the Gazette will offer some explanation or we can just turn it off.

  32. JT says:

    Now my comments are back. Abracadabra!

  33. john says:

    I just heard that the PAVA has put on hold the VA annex as it was my understanding that the group is short on their predisclosed fundraising targets as well the defective lot problems

  34. JT says:

    That’s too bad. Will the Board of Adjustments even convene with 4 members or do they have to wait until the vacancy is filled?

  35. grace wolfert says:

    well that went down the tubes, i hope the storage facility builds the crappiest gate they can get away with for the wonderful city council and citizens of piedmont to look at on the way to city hall and think they could have had a pretty assest to the community there.

  36. john says:

    Grace, now why would you say that, I would like to see the plans it sounds like you did. I am curious why there was not a drawing for the public to see of this building design and plans put in the two local newspapers. Maybe if it was disclosed too all to see at the beginning this would not have been placed on hold by the PAVA.

  37. john says:

    JT, the I’m not sure when that vacant seat will be filled, if its not on the Thursday nite city council meeting agenda then it will be another month at least.. but the PAVA never formally applied for application of variance. So to me that’s a mute point.

  38. john says:

    Grace, one more thing what does the RV storage site have to do with the Veterans Annex, it sounds by your assessment and since you have access to the plans they are inter connected. Is that right?

  39. JT says:

    John I find your apparent curiosity a little fake.

    Why don’t you just come out and say what’s on your mind? I know you have an opinion, I just wish you would state it. I’m sure you have no problem telling your buddies on the city council your opinion.

  40. john says:

    JT, Grace commented on how nice the building will look and now she is saying she wants the developer to construct the crappiest gate entrance …………..since you have not seen the plans as well as I have not but Grace has commented on that provides strong suggestions she has then I want her to provide the obvious , and by the way I didn’t ask you unless your posting under your real name and grace is an alias for you if not let her answer my questions as you can’t unless your letting your personal bias come thru yet again on this issue.

  41. john says:

    JT, the city council can’t vote on the variance issues as this lot does not conform to any of the stated ordinances we have on the book’s. That is why the board of adjustments will have to hear this case again not the city council. So my buddies you call them have no say in what the PBOA votes. Again there has to be a formal application from the property owner to apply for variance requests, maybe those are the questions you should be seeking instead of asking me what is on my mind. HOWEVER It’s just two simple words …. «FULL DISCLOSURE». COMPREHEND????????

  42. JT says:

    No one would give a darn about any of the variances if Boevers hadn’t been the person donating the land. In my opinion Ms. States resignation is proof of that.

    Once again you didn’t answer the question and I’m not sure if you ever will. I can’t get answers to the questions you are asking of the veterans association in this forum, but I can ask questions to you in this forum. You keep implying that something is amiss, but you won’t say what it is. I gather that you think someone is trying to hide something, but you won’t say what you think they are trying to hide. The person who makes the accusations needs to provide some proof. Perhaps that’s why you won’t make a direct accusation because you have no proof, just coffee shop conjecture and gossip.

    Yes the lot has problems. Yes the land ownership transfer hasn’t been completed. But so what? Does that mean that someone is conspiring to do something? That is what some people seem to be implying, but they won’t come out and say it.

    Also, they did provide what looks like the north elevation of the proposed building along with a general description to the Gazette back in November. Granted it isn’t a full submittal like what is required to the government authorities, but it was the best they had at the time. I understand from you that they have run into fundraising problems. That is obviously hindering any further progress.

  43. john says:

    You just answered the most obvious question of the whole thing. Thanks I am done with this thread not unless Kate wants to chime in I mean Grace.

    • JT says:

      Again Mr. Simpson you won’t actually say what your opinion is. You can’t actually put your true opinion into words. Why is that?

  44. grace wolfert says:

    whatever name you want to call me by (not an alias but my name, you know me JT and John but I don’t know you) i think the whole project is a shambles. you see the drawing, and i’ve seen a general blueprint and if you had come to the fall meetings you would have seen it too. I know most of the construction people and some of the veterans contributing in many ways to this effort. They do not do shoddy work, nor was there going to be ‘a pile of sticks’ quoting your lovely Vernon Woods, ever. People planned flag poles and landscaping etc. The storage is going in anyway, what you would have seen from the street was a nice little building, now there’s an odd lot that will have nothing and your view from the street will be the storage facility. enjoy. or just keep being evil to Veterans who gave you the right to be evil and defend it as they have sworn to do.

    • grace wolfert says:

      oh, last i heard they were looking for another property to buy, since it’s an ‘area’ organization out of Piedmont city limits would be an idea I’d like to see, this city doesn’t want it they shouldn’t get the benefit. But guess we are going to have to have that bake sale to along with all the other donations raise land purchase money. ;-). (a proud U.S. Army Veteran) .

  45. john says:

    Based on Graces comments the PAVA has fully withdrawn from the donated lot on Edmond Rd, then it appears to be counter productive to continue to discuss about this lot and its future plans to be reviewed by the PBOA. Let’s hope the PAVA can regroup and find a suitable lot to build their proposed building.

  46. grace wolfert says:

    and why hasn’t a news article come out about that. ” Piedmont City Hall Snubs Veterans” would be a great headline. If you had been following the organizations facebook page you would have known a bit more. It’s public and was published in this paper.
    The lot and location would have been an excellent location but City Hall can’t see the forrest for the trees. Now I bet we’ll get the group rocking and find the location that will make City Hall happy and NOT be in the City I hope!

  47. john says:

    Grace, City hall has not snubbed the great veterans So your headline would be manufactured in untruths. The city failed to voice a 2nd to a motion on the floor for waiving the building fees an application fees for the proposed annex. However that would have been premature as the formal application was never presented to the city nor was the PBOA ever summoned for review and voting in a up or down vote to the hypothetical variance requests. Some on the council said the PBOA had to review the case that the city could not issue a building permit because the city ordinances restricted the lot from its planned request and only the PBOA. had any jurisdiction of the review of this defective lot. Then they said if the PBOA granted the exceptions then the city would review the request for waived fees… Then if the variance was granted could the building permit could have been issue. Rules apply to all regardless how noble the cause appears on the service. Like I said before in my writings directly to the orginizers of the PAVA, the cart was outpacing the horse the while time. My thoughts there was never a fire sa

  48. john says:

    Continued… there was never a fire sale, it should have been done in the proper order to achieve their goals of the PAVA and in my opinion it was botched from the very beginning.

  49. grace wolfert says:

    I did feel they needed to build the organization before the building, only wondered if the age of some of the ‘founders’ made them desperate to see it before their passing. With 501c in effect and bylaws, the organization needs to go forward (even if they have to meet in a storage building) . Hope to inspire some of the younger and female vets to pick up and join the cause, since I’m about the youngest that’s active and the only female. But I’m not part of the ‘inner circle’ either.. As far as I know the PBoA fee was paid, cash, at the council meeting. but all a moot point now. We had an excellent location, a nice paved parking lot, all paid for, now to regroup as you say.

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