Thursday, May 28, 2009
Zoning looks at unapproved event, mining
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Board of Supervisors discussed several zoning issues during the May 18 board meeting.
First up was Cliff Hunt, with Standard Construction, who listened to supervisor Keith Taylor’s concerns that sand and gravel mining on the Bridges property at Bubba Taylor Road may be more extensive than the board thought it approved in 2006.
Hunt said his company mines on an 85-acre site on the Nichols property and on about 280 acres of the Bridges property with permission from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
Taylor said he has had some complaints from several residents that the mining on the Bridges property could cause some cosmetic damage in the area.
Some residents didn’t want a double-wide mobile home on the Bridges property moved or a house, he said.
Taylor said he thought the board of supervisors gave permission for mining up to a gate, but the motion in 2006 did not specifically state the boundary.
He said he thought a row of trees would be a buffer zone so mining could not be seen from the road.
Hunt said MDEQ had notified neighbors on adjoining property of the boundaries before it granted the permit.
“I’m sorry for the confusion,” he said. “The Bridges property is on the west side of the road.”
Hunt said no land reclamation work has been done on any of the areas being mined as yet.
The state requires reclamation of the mined land and a bond and the mining operators have erosion control devices in place on the property, he said. Not half of the rock and sand has been mined yet, he said.
Hunt said he did not believe the construction company had ever indicated it would stop mining at a certain fence line brought up in the discussion.
“Cosmetically, it’s going to change the whole neighborhood,” Taylor said. “You will see the whole operation.”
Hunt said a dirt berm will be built and the mining is below ground level behind the berm and not visible to passersby.
Taylor said he has no problem with the hauling and no roads have been damaged but he is concerned about the looks of the property.
With that the board motioned to table discussions until the June 1 meeting while the board attorney reviews all the documents connected with the permit and approval of the mines.
The board and members of the Cayce Fire Department stood for a photograph of a new fire truck purchased for the station and officially accepted the truck from the vendor.
Zoning director Conway Moore presented documentation to show that the Dozier property was properly cleaned up. She presented a concern about a county beer license and a state permit on record for Mattie B's place at Wall Hill.
Since the late owner Mattie B died, the property licensed by the state as Club Ebony and by the county as Wall Hill Grocery, is in probate court, she said.
Meanwhile one of the heirs wants permission to hold an event which could include a requirement for a license to sell beer or to sell food, she said.
Moore said in her opinion zoning could not approve an event with the licenses in different business names.
“The owner needs to apply for a new business license or to change one of the names,” she said.
Supervisor George Zinn III said the county should not approve a license application in the name of only one of the several heirs while the property was being settled.
Board attorney Kent Smith advised the board to wait until the property is probated in chancery court before considering a license.
“It’s not the board’s responsibility to litigate the heirs’ interest in a piece of property,” he said.
One of the owners has already held a very large rodeo type event and wants to schedule more, Moore said.
Taylor agreed that the county should not allow one heir to do something and ignore the objections of other heirs.
“I want the county to be in compliance,” said Zinn. “We need to be able to state the facts on what can or can’t be done and have it line up with the law.”
After Moore assured the board the event is not a one-time request and that it draws large crowds of up to 700 people or more, Smith recommended the board not give a beer permit until the property is settled in probate court.
Sheriff Kenny Dickerson recommended the board seek an injunction against another event being held on the property to prevent rodeos and large crowds until the matter was settled.
The board voted unanimously to seek the injunction.
Supervisors dedicated the meeting to the memory of Lynda Ash McAlexander who died recently in a house fire in Potts Camp.
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