Developer Cited One of Highest Fines In Houston County

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Houston County's engineering department has cited a local contractor with one of its largest fines to-date, and that may not be the end of the story for him.

According to a subdivision citation received by local company L & G Construction Company, they failed to get a preliminary plat. Therefore, Owner Leo Green's plan to build affordable housing, has been put on hold.

“I don't really think it's fair what they've done to me,” Green said Monday.

Green owns L & G Construction in Cottonwood. Monday, he looked over a
citation given to him by the county and feels it's just not right.

The citation has ordered him to pay $58,000 dollars for a property he began clearing a little more than a week ago. Why? Because county officials say to begin a subdivision he didn't follow the rules.

Houston Co. Engineer Mark Pool explains, "You got to bring in an engineer to get your sewage and water lined up. Your roads have to be built a certain way and the drainage has to be correct because the county has to come in and maintain the roads forever."

Last year, state lawmakers passed a bill that made building on property in the area tougher for contractors.

Still, Green says he didn't do anything wrong. He dotted all of his I's and crossed all of his T's.

In doing so, he says he spoke with someone in the city of Cottonwood who told him all he needed was a permit to begin clearing the land, and he believes he shouldn't have to pay a dime.

"I don't owe $58,000 dollars because I don't have a subdivision,” Green says. “It's $1000 per lot and I don't have a lot. I have a parcel of property."

The property sits on 21 acres and eventually, it would have had three bedroom, two bath homes.

Meanwhile, the county says this should be a lesson learned.

"People should follow the procedures, so we don't have to write any citations," Pool said.

Green say's he'll play by those rules, but feels the county officials should have contacted him before making their decision. "I ceased the work,” he said. “I'm not going against any rules, but I need to know what to expect out of this.”

Green is originally from Florida and developed land there for 28 years before moving his company here.

Green has 10 days to pay the fine. If he doesn't, the fine will be doubled and he still must pay the original citation of $58,000 dollars.

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