Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Beaty Street: Newly disclosed documents conflict with Mayor Woods's Statements

Last week just hours before Davidson Town Hall hosted a roundtable discussion in hopes of quieting opponents of the Beaty Street RFP process, documents began circulating online that appeared to contradict the Town Hall party line that no documentation existed showing the property was originally intended to be a park.  Opponents of the RFP process and the planned "Luminous" mixed use project at the 19 acre Beaty Street site have long been saying this property was intended to be a park.  Some have even taken to calling the property "Promised Park" in reference to that original intent, so these documents came as a welcome vindication of that position.

In addition to the documents flying around, the below video of Mayor John Woods from what appears to be a Chat at the Egg was also posted.  In the video after being asked directly about the Beaty property being purchased by the town for a park, Mayor Woods very clearly says no such documentation exists.

Click HERE for video
Mayor Woods's statement that no documentation exists flies in the face of these documents that say otherwise.  These refer to the deed and the purchase contract when the largest portion of the property was purchased by the town in 1985.

Even more revealing of the intent is this letter from December 1984 from the son of the former landowner to the town.

Then, there is also this email from Town staff obtained via public records request.

In an attempt to get some clarity on the issue aShortChronicle asked the Town the following question last Thursday.

"Can the Town comment on the inconsistency between these documents and Mayor Woods's statement in the video."  (Note: at the time of the question, just the first documents were sent.)

Here is the response from Town Attorney Cindy Reid.

"The purchase offer from the Town of Davidson to the seller stated: “There must be no restrictions, easement, zoning, or other governmental regulations that would prevent the reasonable use of the real property for park, play ground or other public recreational purposes.” While this requirement was for the singular purpose of making sure that restrictions did not exist that would prevent the property’s use as a park, no requirement for use as a park was included.  By no means does that language require or commit use of the property as a park.  Conditions requiring no restrictions on property are standard. The property was deeded to the Town of Davidson  without restrictions which means it can be used for any purpose (as long as that purpose meets the underlying zoning requirements)."

You'll notice this response does not really address the question asked, but it does give a lot of insight into how this Town Hall does business.

Also, take a look closely at the above documents regarding the deed and the letter.  The note regarding the deed and the letter are from/to former long-time Davidson Town Attorney, Rick Kline.  Kline resigned his position at the end of June 2016.

Additional public records show Kline was consulted on the Beaty Street RFP before he left.  Furthermore, aShortChronicle has learned through researching this post that the Town has "paid Rick Kline $10,453 since July 1, 2016 for projects related to the planning department, town attorney, and real estate."

So, not only are there documents regarding the intent of this property to be used as a park, but those documents involve a former Town Attorney who has been involved in this project from the RFP stage.

Davidson Commissioners will discuss the project at tonight's Board meeting.  The question before them should be if they will honor the original intent for this property, or will they do what they want?

1 comment:

  1. Why else would the Town purchase that land back in 1985? Real estate speculation was not in the Town's DNA at the time. And is the Town attorney implying that the generous property owner who sold her land for a park at below market price was foolish for trusting the Town?