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Mathis v. City of Greenville

December 18, 1998

PAUL MATHIS JR., ELMERTHA BURTON APPELLANTS MATHIS, WILLIAM NOEL HARRIS, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF A CLASS OF CLAIMANTS WHO FILED OBJECTIONS TO THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE CITY COUNCIL
v.
CITY OF GREENVILLE APPELLEE



Before Thomas, P.j., Diaz, And Southwick, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas, P.j.

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 04/11/97

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. BETTY W. SANDERS

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - OTHER

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CIRCUIT COURT AFFIRMED DECISION OF CITY COUNCIL TO REMOVE "NO THRU TRUCK TRAFFIC" SIGN ON TAMPA DRIVE.

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED - 12/18/98

¶1. This case comes to the Court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Washington County. Paul Mathis is a resident of Tampa Drive and its contiguous and/or adjoining streets in the City of Greenville. Mathis appeals from a judgment entered on April 15, 1997 by the Circuit Court of Washington County affirming the Greenville City Council's decision of August 20, 1996, removing the "No Thru Truck" traffic restriction on Tampa Drive, thereby reopening the "Farm-to-Market" route for commercial trucks. Feeling aggrieved, Mathis raises the following issues:

I. THE DECISION OF THE GREENVILLE CITY COUNCIL TO REMOVE THE "NO THRU TRUCK TRAFFIC" SIGNS WAS ARBITRARY, CAPRICIOUS AND NOT BASED UPON SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

II. THE DECISION OF THE GREENVILLE CITY COUNCIL WAS ALSO MADE FOR POLITICAL AND/OR PERSONAL REASONS TO ADVANCE/FACILITATE NARROW, PRIVATE INTEREST AT THE EXPENSE OF THE TAMPA DRIVE RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD

III. THE GREENVILLE CITY COUNCIL'S DECISION CONSTITUTES AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL TAKING OF PROPERTY RIGHTS AND DIMINUTION OF PROPERTY VALUES WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OF LAW

IV. THE RESULTANT EFFECT OF THE GREENVILLE CITY COUNCIL'S DECISION IS THE IMPOSITION OF SERIOUS THREAT TO THE HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE OF THE PROPERTY OWNERS, RESIDENTS, THEIR CHILDREN AND INVITEES

V. THE DECISION OF THE GREENVILLE CITY COUNCIL CREATED AN IMPERMISSIBLE PUBLIC NUISANCE

VI. WHILE NOT STATED AS SUCH, THE DECISION OF THE CITY COUNCIL CONSTITUTES A REZONING OF PROPERTY AND TAMPA DRIVE AS A COMMERCIAL TRUCK ROUTE

VII. PROHIBITING COMMERCIAL TRUCK TRAFFIC ON RESIDENTIAL CITY STREETS IS VALID AS A MATTER OF LAW

¶2. Considering the facts and applicable law, we affirm.

FACTS

¶3. On August 20, 1996, the City Council of Greenville conducted a public hearing addressing the issue of reopening the Tampa Road thoroughfare to "Thru Truck Traffic". The thoroughfare was originally intended, designed, and constructed by Washington County as a "farm-to- market" road in the early 1970's. Tampa Drive connects U.S. Highway 82 West with the old Mississippi Highway No. 1.

¶4. In 1989, the Tampa Drive area was annexed into the city of Greenville and the development of single family residences along Tampa Drive and its contiguous and/or adjoining streets increased. We note that at some point in time, as it is unclear from the record and briefs, that between the annexation of Tampa Drive in 1989 and the Council's decision on August 20,1996 to remove the restriction, "No Thru Trucks" signs have been erected, then removed, and then replaced during periods of road construction work.

ΒΆ5. During the August 20, 1996 Council meeting, testimony was given by both those in favor of and in opposition to the lifting of the "No Thru Truck" restriction. After hearing debate and testimony, the Council voted unanimously (6-0) to remove the "No Thru Truck" restriction. From this decision, Mathis filed a Bill of Exceptions in the Circuit Court of Washington County on August 23, 1996. On September 25, 1996, an order was entered, wherein, the parties agreed to submit the issue to the circuit court limited to the record as presented by the Bill of Exceptions, without additional expansion of the record. On ...


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