Eminent Domain – Matthews at it again

 House Bill 322

Home Place

Have you ever wondered what happened with the issue concerning “Home Place”?  Well, on January 24, 2014 the Town of Matthews and the Wrights’ will be in court once again.   Why is Matthews pursuing this issue?  Why is Matthews using “eminent domain” to cover-up an unrecorded and unapproved Plat?  

Home Place is a dead end street that leads to the private drive of Richard and Eleanor Morris and Stuart & Erin Wernikoff.  Richard & Eleanor Morris are one of the grantors of the four lots built in 1978-1983, adjacent to the Wrights’ property.  The Morris’s also donated $50,000.00 to Matthews Town Hall/Library and endorsed Commissioner Query.  The Wrights’ 2.59 acres was not a part of the Davinmor Development.  The Wrights’ have been in twenty-two courts, three times to the North Carolina Courts of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court over “Whether Home Place was a public street”.  On remand from the NCCOA, Mecklenburg County Superior Court ruled in favor of the Wrights’.  On 11/30/2012 Judge Beal ruled Home Place was a private street and the Judgement read:

“IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Plaintiff The Town of Matthews, its officials, employees and agents, licensees and all who act by or through the authority of the plaintiff as a municipality of any right, title or interest in the roadway denominated “Home Place” that lies upon the land of the Defendants as described in the deed recorded at Book-4850, page 0639, Mecklenburg County Registry and from entering thereon for any purpose including construction, repair, improvement or maintenance of the roadway or any fixtures, ditches, markers or signs thereon, without the express permission of the Defendants.

It states in the Mecklenburg County Subdivision Act §136-102.6

Compliance of subdivision streets with minimum standards of the Board of Transportation required developers:

The owner of a tract of land which is subdivided from and after October 1, 1975, into two or more lots, building sites, or other divisions for sale or building development for residential purposes, where such subdivision includes a new street or the changing of an existing street, shall record a map or plat of the subdivision with the register of deeds of the county in which the land is located.  The map or plat shall be recorded prior to any conveyance of portion of said land, be reference to said map or plat.

I also recommend reading:       North Carolina General Assembly                                                                                                               1961 Session – Chapter 203 – House Bill 322                                                 AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE REGULATION OF THE SUBDIVISION OF LAND IN MECKLENBURG COUNTY.  NOTE: HOUSE BILL 322 IS POSTED AT TOP OF PAGE.

On March 11, 2013 during the Board of Commissioners Meeting Mr. Marty Kelso stated “He represented other Home Place neighbors – Laura Jameson, Stuart & Erin Wernikoff – in the audience and other neighbors – Paul & Karen Jamison and Dick & Eleanor Morris – who could not attend the meeting but sent emails expressing their concerns regarding this issue about which he will be speaking”.  Paul Jamison serves on the Economic Development Advisory Committee of Matthews and Dick & Eleanor Morris have endorsed Commissioner Query, financially supported Commissioner Pata in 2013, Mayor Taylor in 2009 and donated $50,000.00 to the Town Hall/Library.  Why did Mayor Taylor and Commissioners Miller, Moore, Bailey, Gulley, Query and Urban not question how this problem all began?  When has it become the responsibility of the citizens of Matthews to pay for civil disputes?  Every time an issue is filed from the Town of Matthews our Town Attorney’s Law firm Cranford, Buckley, Schultze, Tomchin, Allen & Buie, P.A. reap the rewards.  Instead of our tax dollars being frivolously thrown away by pursuing this issue Matthews should be asking, if Subdivision Laws of Mecklenburg County and North Carolina were violated in 1978?  Not using the power of eminent domain to correct a “wrong”.

On April 8, 2013  Commissioner Moore motioned to adopt the resolution for condemnation to acquire the property of the Wrights’ seconded by Commissioner Gulley.  This condemnation involved taking approximately a half acre for $1,500.00 and the litigation has been going on from 2004-2014 a total of 10 years.  When will this madness stop?





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One thought on “Eminent Domain – Matthews at it again

  1. Kenneth Randall

    I attended a meeting as a representative of the Towns Transportation Advisory Committee with the Board of Commissioners to discuss the concept of eminent domain. I brought this issue up as an option to take over a 7 foot section of land in a residential area because Query would not agree to the completion of the S. Trade St project because: “I will not take one more foot of land from any taxpayer”. Taylor then said, ” the Town DOES NOT USE EMINENT DOMAIN TO ACQUIRE LAND. I then asked about the Privette case on Phillips Rd and the Wright case on Home Rd. Taylor refused to discuss those situations, which says all that needs to be said!


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