City of Landrum denies bid on S. Shamrock Ave. parcel of land

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, January 12, 2017

LANDRUM – The City of Landrum denied a bid on a 1.81-acre parcel of land on S. Shamrock Avenue during their council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

The property, zoned R-1, is owned by the city and is located between E. Blue Ridge Street and E. Roland Street. Christopher Chestnut submitted a bid for $269 to the city for the property and said he did not have plans to develop the lot.

According to Landrum City Administrator Rich Caplan, the city was given the parcel of land in 2002 and is not suitable for a park or any other public use. The parcel had also been taken off the tax roles, generating no revenue to the city, school district or county since 2002, Caplan explained.

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City council officials tabled the discussion of the bid in December because of the trees on the property. Council member Jon Matheis said during the December work session they could be valuable if they are oak trees. Further investigation was done by the city on these trees and the trees were determined to be worth less than $300.

During the city’s January work session, council member Johnny Carruth asked Caplan how much taxes would be brought in if the city added the parcel to the tax roles.

Caplan said the appraised value would bring in up to $20,000 if a single house was built on the property and said a vacant lot would bring in up to $1,200 monthly if the lot was added back to the city’s tax roles. No value has been appraised currently, Caplan explained.

Carruth said he would rather “cultivate” the lot and offer it to someone who would immediately build on it. The city would then get more revenue from taxes for the city per month if the lot was developed, according to Carruth, and he said he was not in favor of buying the vacant property and “have it just sit there.”

Carruth said he would offer the parcel for a dollar to someone who would commit to building on it immediately. Landrum Mayor Robert Briggs said modifications have to be made on the lot in order to be able to build on it.

Caplan said he had someone offer to use the parcel to build a community garden on it. He added the city is not interested in running a community garden but said a garden club or nonprofit church group could bring in the dirt, fruits and vegetables to build their own garden on the land.