World War II Vet Still Embroiled In Property Dispute With Neighbor At Collegedale

Monday, November 18, 2013 - by Gail Perry

A World War II veteran came to the Collegedale Commission meeting Monday night for the second time appealing for help with a neighbor who he says has steadily encroached upon his property.

Vernon Herod said he originally gave Tammy Crabtree Davis permission to come closer to his property line than is specified by city codes. This was done as a favor and for her convenience, to allow for a driveway turn-around with the understanding that would be the only exception to the code, which specifies a 10-foot setback from property lines, he said. When it was poured, the drive came closer to his property than had been agreed upon. Next came a storage shed and then a garage, all extending onto Mr. Herod’s land, it was stated. In the last two weeks, a privacy fence has been added to the list of structures on the area in dispute.

Building Inspector Andrew Morkert said he did not know if the fence had been built yet or by whom because he has heard so many different stories. Talking to the commissioners Monday night, Ms. Davis said she just wants this to be over, and that is why she put up the privacy fence. Yet members of the VFW headed by Steve Hullander were planning to build the fence once the property line was established to both parties' satisfaction.

The contentious situation has escalated in the past two weeks with Mr. Hullander saying he witnessed Ms. Davis tearing down both a fence post and a sign, which resulted in a call to and visit from the Collegedale Police that termed those actions as vandalism. She claimed that when she was preparing for the surveyor and fence company, Mr. Hullander was taking pictures and taunting her. She told the commission that she feels harassed and said, “I’ve lost my job because I’ve been stressed out.”

As a background for those who are not familiar with the issue, Commissioner Larry Hanson told the audience that problems started when the shed was built without obtaining a permit from Collegedale. After it was constructed, Ms. Davis requested and was granted a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals. The same process was repeated after she had a carport built overlapping the property line, again built without applying for a permit. In both cases, the planning commission had recommended against giving a variance.  The city has taken measures so that will not happen again by doing away with the Board of Zoning Appeals and returning the responsibility of granting variances to the planning commission.

Commissioner Debbie Baker said that actions recommended at the Nov. 4 commission meeting seemed fair. It was suggested for both parties to agree upon and hire an independent surveyor. Ms. Davis was also urged to take an offer made by Mr. Herod to buy the land in question for $5,000.

Instead, Ms. Davis made the decision to hire Dave Matthews Surveying to mark the property line. When Mayor John Turner went to see the disputed land he watched two surveyors put the orange markings on the line. It differs slightly from Mr. Herod’s two surveys that had been done when he bought the house in 1954, but he said, “It’s clear as the nose on your face” that the discrepancy is 18-20 inches in favor of Mr. Herod. “The carport she put up in front of the shed is clearly on Mr. Herod’s property,” he said, adding, “I think Mr. Herod’s being bullied.”

City Attorney Sam Elliott advised the commissioners and involved parties that this dispute is a civil matter that must be resolved in a court of law where a judge can make the decision. He said that the city commission is not a fact-finding body.

In regular business, City Manager Ted Rogers said that financial news should be uneventful. His report to the commissioners for the month showed nothing out of the ordinary. He said that with one-third of the fiscal year completed, revenues are coming in as anticipated and expenditures are all in line. The city maintains adequate cash reserves and investments are doing well. 


Dalton Police Arrest 8 In Prostitution Sting, Including GPS Athletic Director

The Dalton Police Department arrested eight potential “Johns” in a prostitution sting  on Wednesday  night. In recent months, Dalton detectives have received complaints of prostitutes operating in the area and have been investigating.  An undercover officer posed as a prostitute for the operation. Investigators placed an ad online and the suspects agreed to ... (click for more)

Grand Jury No Bills And True Bills

Here are the latest no bills and true bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury: No Bills: ANDERSON, GLORIA LORENE B 31 F 0 1 GS 1570989 DRIVING ON REVOKED LICENSE ANDERSON, GLORIA LORENE B 31 F 0 2 GS 1570990 LIGHT LAW VIOLATION ARD, KEVIN W 32 M 0 1 GS 1182477 VIOLATION OF REGISTRATION LAW ARD, KEVIN W 32 M 0 2 GS 1182478 FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY LAW ARD, KEVIN ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ed Chief ‘Embarrassed’

At the start of the school year in September, Tennessee’s Commissioner of Education Dr. Candice McQueen held an “educational summit” with state legislators from embattled Hamilton County. The entire “summit” took a prescribed 90 minutes and was such a dog-and-pony show her strongest statement was, "Create your plan around the right vision, have some metrics and align to the right ... (click for more)

Legendary Howard Coach Henry Bowles Dies At 80

Legendary Howard High Coach Henry Wesley Bowles, Sr., has died at the age of 80 after a lengthy illness. Coach Bowles was born in Chattanooga on Oct. 14, 1936. He graduated from Howard High School, class of 1955, and received his bachelor of arts degree from Lane College, Jackson, Tn. While at Lane College, he was student council president, business manager and Who’s Who among ... (click for more)

Silverdale Girls Claim District 5-A Championship

The face and philosophy might have changed, but the expectations for the Silverdale Baptist Academy girls’ basketball team remained the same. Heading into the season with five seniors and a first-year, first-time head coach in Victor Underwood, the Lady Seahawks had their sights set on winning a District 5-A championship. Wednesday night, they achieved that goal with ... (click for more)