The answer is no, according to the decision issued Monday by the county commissioners.

The commission voted to deny four separate petitions filed by Camden County landowners looking to incorporate themselves as villages.


The answer is no, according to the decision issued Monday by the county commissioners.
The commission voted to deny four separate petitions filed by Camden County landowners looking to incorporate themselves as villages.
Presiding Commissioner Carolyn Loraine said in their opinion, the petitions did not conform to law.
The petitions were filed earlier this year during a statewide debate over the controversial law that allowed landowners to incorporate as entities exempt from county control, such as planning and zoning.
The Camden County Commission had refused to hold a hearing saying the petitions were incomplete.
The disgruntled landowners filed suit in Camden County Circuit Court and asked the court to force the county to put the petitions on the ballot. As part of the incorporation, state law required the landowners within the villages to vote on becoming a village.
The circuit court ordered the Camden County Commission to go through the process of hearing four separate petitions for incorporation as villages.
The court did not dictate what action the commission needed to take. It just said the petitions needed to go through the hearing process.
The county commission held the hearings two weeks ago. No action was taken.
At that time, the commissioners said they would issue a decision at a later date.
The hearing issue was addressed in the final ruling from the court regarding four lawsuits filed by unsuccessful petitioners.
The suits were filed on behalf of Terry A. Snyder, Michael P. Dorf, Timothy Ernst and Debra A. Brayton. Although each suit was filed separately, the same attorney, Alan R. Clever of Laurie, represents all four landowners.
The suits are fallout from the disputed “village law” that was repealed in the last hours of the 2008 legislative session. The repeal takes effect  Aug. 28.
The Camden County Commission had declined to consider the petitions on the ground the petitions did not meet the requirements. The petitions were then amended.
The law allows landowners to circumvent planning and zoning, health ordinances and wastewater rules by incorporating as villages. The law usurps county control, commissioners said previously.
The ‘village law’ language was in Senate Bill 22 passed by the state legislature in 2007.
The controversial law was pushed by Republican Speaker of the House Rod Jetton of Marble Hill.
It managed to skate through the 2007 legislature but was repealed during the most recent legislative session.
The bill authorizing the repeal was signed by the governor earlier this year. Camden County has three villages on the books. It is the only county in the state to approve any village petitions.
The petitioners have a right to appeal to the court.
Contact this reporter at joycem@lakesunleader.com