AG refuses to rule on pig dispute

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Someone besides the Alabama Attorney General will have to tell the pigs to go.

An ongoing dispute between property owners on Bell Grayson Road has been rejected by Attorney General Bill Pryor. Now the Demopolis City Council will be forced to decide whether a local couple can keep livestock on its property.

For months, Dana McCants has haggled with the council, Mayor Austin Caldwell and City Attorney Richard Manley over the legality of Mr. and Mrs. James Carpenter having livestock on their Bell Grayson Road property. McCants asked Manley to get an attorney general’s opinion on whether it was legal under the city ordinance.

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Last week, Manley finally received an opinion from the AG.

Manley informed the council and mayor of Pryor’s letter last week and said the decision now rests with city officials. He wasn’t surprised by the AG’s ruling.

Twisted in the city ordinance is an article on livestock in residential areas.

According to McCants, the property in question was annexed into the city in 1989. He claims that from 1982-1985 and from 1988-present, the property was farmed. But from 1986-1987, the property was not farmed.

Because of that, McCants said the Bell Grayson Road property should not be grandfathered into the ordinance.

However, there is a dispute over the use of the property during the years prior to annexation, leading to the dispute.

The next step in the process, according to Caldwell, is to get an opinion from Manley, the city attorney.

Caldwell said Manley will make his recommendation to the council at its next meeting, scheduled for Dec. 19.