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City says elderly couple can no longer inhabit home, owner points to Realtor’s advice

Zoning nightmare in Georgia

70 year old Mamie Singleton raised her children in her home which she owns, pays for, and is now struggling to keep as she is the caretaker for her ill husband and works full time at a cleaning job.

Singleton told WSBTV.com that six years ago, her Realtor advised her to zone her residential home as commercial to help the sale value down the road. She was living in the home at the time and remained for many years. The home is in a residential district and faces a neighborhood street. Zoning advice from the Realtor was likely based, however, on the premise that Singleton was moving.

A zoning “technicality”

Singleton rented an apartment for undisclosed reasons, has told city council that she did not abandon the home, but because she didn’t sell as originally planned, when she attempted to move back in, the city informed her that she would not be allowed to inhabit the house. She has petitioned for the zoning to be residential once again.

Walnut Grove City Council says that because of a zoning technicality, Singleton and her husband may not live in the house as it is a commercial property.

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As she continues to petition, she struggles to make ends meet between medical bills, rent and mortgage, taxes and homeowners insurance which she claims is all current.

City versus homeowner

Walnut Grove Mayor Don Cannon told Channel 2 News, ““We take pride in, I think, seeing our ordinances enforced. We don’t try to beat up on anybody.” He noted that the elderly woman missed multiple hearings in her attempt to rezone her house.

Singleton’s family says Singleton was told at the last appeal that it was “not in the best interest of the community” that she move back into the home.

Homeowner must wait until October

Mayor Cannon said they will hear her petition to rezone but she will have to wait until October to reapply. Singleton says she plans on appealing once again, despite struggling financially as she waits.

Click here to view Singleton’s property tax record.

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Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Mark Brian

    July 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Sad that the city cannot see fit to help an elderly lady.

  2. Augusta Real Estate

    July 26, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Wow!!!
    Hard to believe the city is playing politics with this home owner. Wait, no it isn't, the home is in Georgia…all bets are off.
    Reference the Augusta city commissions performance over he past 10 years.

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