Anderson family sues city over land dispute - FOX Carolina 21

Anderson family sues city over land dispute

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Anderson family sues city over land dispute. (June 30, 2017) Anderson family sues city over land dispute. (June 30, 2017)
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

When Tonya Winbush walks on her property she takes her cell phone and hits record. There are now bulldozers, downed trees and a path for a planned sewer line through the property.

Back in 1912, her great grandfather bought more than 40 acres off King Road. Now, in one area of the property, the City of Anderson  wants .64 of an acre for the sewer line and less than an acre for the right-of-way. 

"We have been violated for the last time," Tonya Winbush said.

She says the city started work on the line without notifying them. 

"The City of Anderson has put a line through our legacy and our heritage and we're not going to let them erase it," she said.

The city's lawyer, Frankie McClain says Anderson got the land through the eminent domain law. The law states the government has power to acquire private property for public use.

"But we have legal rights too. We have a legal right to due process and we have a legal right to just compensation," Tonya Winbush said.

So, the Winbush family took their fight to the steps of Anderson City Hall. They filed a lawsuit and held a news conference on Friday. 

She says the family is standing for all who live in the area.

"For every family that were given pennies for their heritage and their legacy," Tonya Winbush said.

The lawsuit, which the family filed on June 26, states the construction on the property is an aggressive act of performing sewer improvements. 

"When we say fight, we're talking about getting on our knees praying and we're talking about legally," Tonya Winbush said.

The lawsuit also states aggressive actions reduced the property's value. So, the family is asking for an order of stay to stop condemnation of the property and construction. 

Cora Winbush, Tonya Winbush's mother, says her husband left the property to her and her children. 

"We're going to stand and we're going to stand for the right," Cora Winbush said."It's not right for them to come and take what our forefathers have fought for."

The Winbush family has support from strangers, family and friends like Harold Kay. He's an Anderson School District Five trustee.

"I think that everyone should see this as a personal encroachment on them because they've done it to this family. You wait your turn, they could come to your house," Kay said.

The family held hands and prayed on the steps of City Hall that construction would stop. 

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