Woman Jailed For 4 Months For Building An Addition For Her Sick Mom In Her Own Backyard

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Top Tier Gear USA


by Matt Agorist

Augusta, GA — Nothing dismantles the notion of Land of the Free quite like the government kidnapping and caging you for building an addition to your home on your own property. Amy McKinnon is learning the hard way after she was thrown in jail this month for building an addition for her sick mother without going through the proper extortion channels of the state.

Sadly, her neighbors and the media are actually praising this nonsense as if McKinnon is some kind of criminal.

“Nobody in their right mind would buy something next to a monstrosity like this,” neighbor Don Gilmore told FOX 8 News.  “Obviously, it’s an eyesore and it sticks out because it doesn’t belong here.”

Don is referring to the addition in McKinnon’s backyard that is on her own property and behind a fence.

McKinnon was arrested because her building size exceeded that of the permit she was forced to acquire through the city.

Code enforcement officials say McKinnon was initially approved for a 562 ft gazebo, according to FOX 8. However, according to officials, McKinnon’s structure was more than just a gazebo.

“It was between the end of the first phase being approved and the second phase being approved that the inspectors found that this was not at 562ft2 home,” Code Enforcement Manager Terrence Wynder said.

McKinnon, who actually went through the proper channels of extortion and permission to build a structure on her own property, felt she was acting within the confines of the law.

As FOX 8 reports, according to documents from the planning and zoning board meeting, McKinnon said she was told by an inspector that as long as she connected the new structure to her current home, it would be fine. So she decided to go bigger in order to move her sick mother in.

But Wynder said the city never said this, and says they issued McKinnon a ticket for building a structure larger than authorities granted her permission to build.

“We wrote her a citation saying that you have to go to court. You are in violation of the zoning ordinance having two structures on one parcel of land,” says Wynder.

After officials ‘caught’ McKinnon committing the ‘crime’ of building a structure on her own property that they did not approve of, McKinnon was given an ultimatum.

Drastically reduce the size of the structure or demolish the entire thing. Not wanting to throw her hard earned money down the drain because of this tyrannical move by officials, McKinnon refused.

For not demolishing a building on her own property — McKinnon was sentenced to 120 days in a cage.

FOX 8 reports that they hope this is “wake-up call for anyone who is looking for loopholes to get around the law.”

“I want to see this thing come down yesterday!” says Gilmore as he gloats in his ability to use state power to hurt innocent people for doing things on their own property that he disagrees with.

Of course, if McKinnon had done something to harm Gilmore or her other neighbors like burying toxic waste in her backyard, this would not be justified. However, that was not at all the case in this instance. McKinnon is in a jail cell right now for the sole reason that she didn’t pay enough money to the state to do what she wanted on her own property — simple as that.

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  • kdracco

    Good ole Thieves, always hard at work. You have to give it to the people in charge. They have perfected the art of extortion.

  • idoxlr8

    The all knowing Department of Revenue…

  • Cynical Bastard

    I rather suspect there’s more to the story than just, “…for the sole reason that she didn’t
    pay enough money to the state to do what she wanted on her own property
    — simple as that.”

    If you’re going to be credible in your journalism don’t spin it and don’t make it an OpEd. Report the facts objectively. Don’t they teach that in journalism anymore?

  • Frank

    I’m sure there’s more to this story, and it sounds like her good neighbor, Mr. Gilmore, has a grudge. Even though there are unduly onerous restrictions by The State on private activities and use of private property, she obviously ignored warnings about proceeding with construction of an unapproved structure – so, having been through this myself, I really have no sympathy. Also, looking at the photo, which I presume is of the subject property, it looks like Ms. McKinnon has already converted her garage to another Living space or to a Home Office. Conversion of a garage to a Living space isn’t an issue, but in some places the establishment of a commercial enterprise or business office in a Residential area is a problem – and when she’s got neighbors like Gilmore….trouble can be expected.

  • elmysterio

    You don’t actually own property…

    • G’ma G

      But you can by regaining allodial title if you ever get the mortgage paid off then put your land back into patent status.

      • elmysterio

        Even then, it can be seized for eminent domain, or if you fail to pay property taxes (even just a few dollars), or if you fail to abide by one of the many many bylaws… you “own” your property that the leisure of the state.

  • Mike

    sounds like some area officials need their homes burned to the ground.

  • Gil G

    Her only “crime” was commiting a criminal offense.

    • g.johnon

      hey gilly, that blue pill given ya heartburn?

  • Phil_Ossifer

    Her big mistake seems to be that she believed something she was told by an inspector. Most inspectors are petty tyrants and wannabe cops who probably got picked on a lot in grade school and are looking to get even with the world. So…if it isn’t in writing and signed by an official who has the authority to do so, you have to strictly follow the original permit. Building inspectors are generally not known for their intelligence and compassion and they don’t do gray areas, to put it mildly. I know this from firsthand experience. Much as I sympathize with McKinnon she brought this on herself. I agree, it does seem like the neighbor is trying to “get even” with McKinnon for something and he probably is the one who made the complaint to the inspectors but McKinnon is not blameless in this.

    • jimmy joe

      So you agree that she really does NOT own the land then? The neighbor is obviously a BIG GOVT type who, more than likely, goes to the bar and complains about “big govt”. Seen these dinks before, dime a dozen!! How many dinks follow the laws they create for the rest of us, any guesses? When they want around code laws, they simply, change them in their or a developers favor. We live in VERY CORRUPT BIG GOVT, NANNY STATE PEOPLE AND THIS MUST CHANGE, SOONER RATHER THAN LATER!!

      • Phil_Ossifer

        Yes, I agree – she does NOT own the land, regardless of whether or not she has a mortgage of some type. The true test of ownership is whether or not you can do what you want with something and with real property you cannot do hardly anything without some sort of government permission. Therefore, nobody except the government “owns” real property and it can be argued that the government (theoretically) owns all real property and we are just granted the right to occupy and maintain on the government’s behalf it subject to fees and taxes. The same argument can be made about cars and even about your own body, too.

        • jimmy joe

          I do agree with you, however, when masses of us AMERICANS do something about it, it will be on a national stage, I assure you of that! Its about time we do something about big govt as it is! We currently reside in the country our forefathers fought against, you know that, right?

  • nomark

    I’ve lived in several different states and generally if you are building it yourself and you do attach it to an existing home, no permits should be needed. I know of several people building guest houses, pool houses, etc and the only connect to the home is a breeze-way and it’s totally legal.

    Seems to me the neighbors are behind this.

  • Airb0rne4325

    Like I tell my kids, it’s only illegal if the government doesn’t get their cut. Once you pay them off its ok.

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    • G’ma G

      You are so very right. Check any law that restricts an activity and you will almost always find an exemption…if you pay more for it.

  • Clementine

    That is just another reason not to have close neighbors… packed and stacked will always create trouble.

    • rjnvpn

      Yup. Seems there are neighborhood nazis everywhere.

  • stone cruiser

    Hey gilmore, like oprah said, I hope you die.