Thursday, September 11, 2008
Supervisors revisit event permits
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Board of Supervisors discussed how events approved by the zoning commission can be handled when the activities fall outside the law - provoke the community with loud music, traffic, or ones that serve food and alcohol without a permit.
Supervisor George Zinn III brought the matter up, saying complaints are coming in against an operator of a four-wheeler site who was alleged to have violated his agreement with neighbors.
At one approved event site the signs were not put up, the gates not operated as agreed upon and additional unapproved activities allegedly took place, he said.
Attorney Kent Smith advised the board it has an obligation to protect citizens against violations of state laws and county ordinances.
“This board has asked for licenses and permits to have some events that would charge admission and sell food,” he said. “This board has the ability to monitor any unpermitted or illegal sale of alcohol or food. Or this board, in conjunction with citizens, could seek an injunction in court for nuisances like loud noises.
“It seemed neighbors were concerned in this case about the noise of racing (four-wheelers) and traffic. If these items need to be addressed, the citizens need to go to chancery court and ask for an injunction.
“I think the agreement was to try to get the citizens to agree (on the conditions). If he violated his agreement to do certain things, people in the community need to ask for an injunction.”
“The fact is he didn’t come into compliance,” said Zinn, in whose district the event took place.
“It’s his land,” said Smith.
“He wanted to come by and request to operate a four-wheeler race,” said Conway Moore, zoning director.
Supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett said apparently the parties haven’t worked it out.
Smith explained that the enforcement of the ordinances falls within the judiciary, not with the board of supervisors, the executive branch of the county.
“What if a person decides to sell fireworks and so forth?" asked Zinn.
“The sheriff can issue a citation, but due process puts this in court, according to which violation occurs,” Smith said.
It could be taken up in chancery or justice court.
“It helps when the board takes a consistent view and is willing to go to court and say we are not going to stand for that with the citizens who will join us in court,” Smith said.
Zinn then asked for a sheriff’s report, resulting from a call to the property during an event, be placed in the minutes of the board of supervisors.
Supervisors took action on several clean-up orders, after the discussion and heard other reports.
Chancery clerk Chuck Thomas asked for several motions regarding travel for several county employees, a readmission to the homestead rolls, and reported claims for $315,657 for August.
Larry Hall, county administrator, reported the governor has signed off on a Community Development Block Grant of $600,000 for a facility plan for sewer work on the Cayce Road/Highway 72 project, contingent on clearance from the Environmental Protection Agency. The contract for the work is contingent on environmental clearance within four months, he said, or else the contract with CDBG would be void.
He said he received a letter from Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality notifying that illegal dumping has been reported on Rice Chapel and Wilburn Roads. The county will have to clean up some roadside dumps, he said.
Engineer Larry Britt reported two permits were needed - one to allow TVA to relocate a water line along Mt. Carmel Road in the industrial park, and a second permit to allow Potts Camp to execute a water project in the Gandy Circle, Barber Road, Macedonia Road and Tuttle and Howell Roads area.
The board discussed some flooding problems caused when developers do not lay the correct size pipes in subdivisions and measures to correct the situation.
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