Bypass opponents vow to stall project

With no federal lawsuit having been filed in court as initially promised, opponents of the West Fayetteville Bypass are adopting a different tactic instead: The Stall.

At Thursday night’s meeting of the Fayette County Commission, local resident Dennis Chase said that the plan of the West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition is to gum up the county’s works when it attempts to require the needed property along the second and third phases of the bypass.

“I can assure you that virtually every property owner on the second and third phases ... is going to oppose any and every offer made by the county and instead will force the county to go into condemnation,” Chase said. “Our information is that will take a minimum of two years to get.”

Within that two-year time frame, three of Fayette’s five commissioners will be up for re-election, and the WFBC is hoping to elect at least one candidate who would join commissioners-elect Steve Brown and Allen McCarty in opposing the project.

It remains to be seen if that will happen in time, however. Thursday night the commission voted to approve a preliminary alignment for the third and final phase of the bypass, which will start at Ga. Highway 85 South and Harp Road, heading towards Ga. Highway 54 near the former Huiet Road and then up to Ga. Highway 92 North at the intersection of West Bridge Road.

The preliminary alignment approval for the third phase allows the county to use an engineering firm to flesh out the details of the final road alignment, which will also be brought up before a full vote of the county commission at a later date.

Several property owners along the second phase of the bypass have reported they have received letters from a legal firm representing the county in the land acquisition phase.

Chase said he and the West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition have been in touch with attorneys in reference to the condemnation issue.

“There’s very little other choice these people have,” Chase said.

Chase also reminded the commission that the coalition and other groups would oppose any future special sales tax proposal that includes any phase of the West Fayetteville Bypass.