THIS IS ABOUT A NAIL SALON
• Upset over alleged ongoing town ordinance violations.
By SHAUN SAVARESE
Of The Record Staff
A Democratic candidate who has sought state office two times, Dr. Susan Byerly, lashed out at Erwin administrators Thursday, upset over owners of a nail salon business allegedly violating town ordinances.
Dr. Byerly, who lives in Erwin, questioned Town Manager Snow Bowden and said the investigation into the violations has been ongoing for three months, too long in her opinion.
The conflict arose from claims that a nail salon is being run out of a building — against town ordinance — on the property at 500 S. 8th St., Erwin.
She asked Mr. Bowden specifically if Erwin Building Inspector William Morris went to the building and was denied entry. Mr. Bowden said yes, and she asked what will happen next.
“We’re working on it,” Mr. Bowden said.
Dr. Byerly said she was told by a state building inspector that if someone is in violation of a code, the building inspector has “every right to go on that property and inspect.”
Upset, she worked down the chain of command. She went as far as to suggest that if the matter goes unresolved, they “do away with the planning board, do away with the board of adjustments … and we don’t need a governing body.”
After another minute of challenging interrogation toward the Erwin town manager, Mayor Pro-Tem Randy Baker interjected. Erwin Mayor Patsy Carson was not present on Thursday.
Commissioner Baker attempted to clarify the purpose of the period for public comment, saying it was not meant for deliberation. He explained the procedure need- See Erwin, Page 3
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ed following when a code-enforcing building inspector is denied access to a building.
“What the officer has to do at that point in time; he has to take the evidence that he has to go inpsect (and) take it before a magistrate …,” said Mr. Baker, who is a planning supervisor for Harnett County. “The magistrate has to give him an adminstrative warrant to go and perform that inspection.”
Dr. Byerly said she would like to hear that procedure is being followed in a timely manner.
“I do believe in a government for the people and by the people, but this whole situation has made a farce of every council, every one of you, the planning board … and the board of adjustments,” she said. “This is about having policies and procedures in place and we are not following them. If it were your backyard and your neighborhood, I think you would feel differently.”
On April 17, applicant Keith Tripp submitted a site plan with a conditional use permit application that showed a nail salon to be placed in an existing sunroom attached to his house. The matter drew opposition from neighbors.
On June 1, Erwin’s board of commissioners passed the conditional use permit for the home at the address. The permit allowed the applicant to operate a nail salon business inside his home. It was made clear that the customary home occupation would not be inside of the accessory structure that was recently placed on this property.
On the night of Aug. 21, at an Erwin Planning Board meeting, a zoning text amendment to allow a low-impact business to be a conditional use in an accesory building was presented and denied.
The proposed amendment would have make businesses like a nail salon a conditional use in an accessory structure.
A conditional use allows for things to be done on a property or in a home that are not normally allowed by the town. An accessory structure is a building on a piece of property separate of the home, like a trailer, detached garage or storage shed. The Town of Erwin does not allow home occupations in accesory structures, the City of Dunn does.
The proposed text amendment came before the planning board at the request of Mr. and Mrs. Tripp, under the representation of attorney Douglas Turner of Hayes, Williams, Turner and Daughtry, P.A. in Dunn. The proposed text amendment was presented prior to an intended conditional use request for the Tripps’ accesory structure.
Mr. Bowden indicated at the planning board meeting that the town had already received complaints of the nail salon business operating out of that building.
Mr. Turner spoke in favor of the text amendment, saying that when the Tripps applied to the licensing board, they discovered they would be prohibited from running the nail salon out of the sunroom of their house. That was the reason they requested to make the text amendment request and why they intended to file a conditional use permit application.
Mr. Turner highlighted the City of Dunn’s code ordinance and the unified development ordinance of Harnett County, calling home occupations a “matter of right.”
Several concerned neighbors — including Dr. Byerly — also spoke at the Aug. 21 meeting, in opposition of the text amendment.
Dr. Byerly, who lives on Old Post Road in Erwin, said she had been inside the building, and seen the nail salon herself. She said she met with Mr. Bowden and Mr. Morris and showed them a Facebook advertisement for the nail salon, with reference to it being in the outbuilding.
She testified to seeing several cars at once parked near the building, again saying what concerns her “is government for the people and by the people.”
“You obviously have an interest in our trustworthy citizens or you wouldn’t be here tonight,” she said. “The wool has been pulled over your eyes. It was pulled over your eyes intentionally.”
Seemingly peaceful, even pleasant; the accessory structure at 500 S. 8th St., Erwin, is causing a lot of conflict in the neighborhood. Allegations that a nail salon is being run out of it is stirring up a ‘hornet’s nest,’ as described by town Commissioner Billy Turnage. Thursday night’s board meeting heard from two townspeople, who were fed up with what they view as a property-devaluating breaking of Erwin rules.
Daily Record Photo/Shaun Savarese