Ryan Sellers and Zoning Administrator Judy Clark reached an agreement Monday, so county officials will not take court action against Sellers for a late, inadequate building/zoning permit for the home where he lives.
Sellers’ home is near Watts Road and U.S. Highway 83, Lincoln County Zoning Administrator Judy Clark said.
Sellers first failed to obtain a building and zoning permit. After he was notified, once he applied for a permit, he failed to draw an adequate site plan, Clark said, despite written notice.
Clark appeared before the Lincoln County Commissioners. On her behalf, Deputy Lincoln County Attorney Joe Wright asked the county commissioners to approve court action against Sellers.
However, Sellers told the commissioners he did not receive the written notices. He asked where they were sent, and Clark said the address was in the 1000 block of N. Jeffers.
Sellers said that was his former place of business, but he left there three years ago.
Clark said the address came from the Lincoln County Assessor’s office.
Sellers brought a better site plan to the commissioners meeting. Clark said that would suffice.
Commissioner Duane Deterding told Sellers to go to the assessor’s office and update his address.
Sellers did, only to find the assessor’s office already had the correct address, Assessor Julie Stenger said.
Sellers’ address was updated in December, Lincoln County Treasurer Sue Fleck said. That was after Clark sent him the letters.
During the meeting, Sellers also complained that he wasn’t notified that the issue was before the commissioners, until an employee read about it in the Bulletin’s report of last week’s commissioner’s meeting.
“Last Monday evening was the first I heard of this,” he said. “We could have saved everyone’s time if I would have been informed.”
He asked the commissioners to change their practice and notify people who are coming before the board.
But Wright said Sellers missed his chance to clear up the situation earlier by not responding to the letters, and evidently, failing to update his mailing address.
Wright said after that, the proper step was to bring Clark’s complaint to the attention of the commissioners, asking them to authorize legal action.
Wright told Sellers if the commissioners would have authorized the legal action, Sellers would have still been contacted and had a chance to settle it out of court.
Clark said sometimes rural residents don’t obtain building permits before they start building, and she has the authority to fine them.
However, her standard practice is to just send a written notice and reminder. She does not levy a fine if they obtain the permit then.
Sellers also said he paid for building permit later in the summer, and the city cashed his $150 check to cover the fee. He said normally when the money changes hands, the deal is done.
Sellers’ initial drawing / site plan stated the required distance between the well and the septic system, but it did not depict the shape of the house, nor the distance away from neighboring properties, called the “setback distance,” which are required for a building permit.
Later Monday, Sellers filed as a candidate for county commissioner, challenging incumbent Bill Henry.
Both men are Republicans. They will face off in the May primary.