Fayette eyes written policy for land buying

In an effort to make Fayette County’s land acquisition process easier to understand, county employees are preparing a policy that will be translated into a handout that can be shared with residents.

The idea was initiated last month by Commissioner Allen McCarty, who said that confusion about the policy has led to him hearing comments from a number of citizens, specifically as it relates to the continuing construction of the West Fayetteville Bypass.

The policy being developed will mirror the county’s current practices for acquiring property to be used for transportation projects, County Attorney Scott Bennett told the Fayette County Commission last week.

The policy is up for a formal vote from the commission at its meeting Thursday night.

“This actually puts it in a written format, so when somebody asks ‘what is the county policy,’ we can hand it to them,” Bennett said.

The county’s first goal is to negotiate in good faith with the property owner and attempt to negotiate a deal by using an appraisal. If the negotiation is not successful, then the county begins the condemnation process.

The policy will be at least as rigid as the land acquisition policy employed by the Ga. DOT.

Commissioner Lee Hearn said he was curious about the land acquisition policies in other counties. Hearn said he liked the idea of having the policy in written form so residents will know what their rights are in the process, “because in some cases they may feel we are being more than fair with them, and in other cases they may feel like we are being less than fair with them