Thursday, June 18, 2009
Zoning denies ‘rodeo’ request
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Zoning Board denied a request to hold horse show/rodeo events twice monthly on property located at 2973 Cayce Road.
The property is zoned R-E which allows uses by special exception for stables, riding academies, golf courses, etc., according to attorney Gene Brown.
Director Flick Ash opposed the events, saying he had “seen one and was not impressed that they were doing the right thing.”
Director Joe Hurdle agreed.
The concern that there is no way to monitor horses’ health and treatment was brought up by director Bill Kinkade.
The event request by Eddy Taylor, who leases the property, was denied. Taylor has 30 days to appeal the decision to the board of supervisors.
The zoning board approved a request from Paul Bennett to rezone some property from R-E to Commercial-1, lots he owns in Frank Moore subdivision off Highway 309 North. Bennett said he has operated ABC Septic Tank on the property for 49 years but his business will suffer if he has to relocate with the coming of I-269 through the area.
“That ship has already set sail,” said Kinkade. “It would not be a wise idea to rezone this now.”
Bennett said if he has to relocate he will have to go out and buy commercial property to move his business to. He has been operating under a grandfather clause all these years.
“Those wheels are already set in motion,” Kinkade said. “My opinion is it is late for that and would look improper.”
Bennett replied that the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has placed stakes through his property but has not come back to make him a buyout offer.
Bill Mobley, executive director of the Industrial Development Authority, noted that MDOT has obtained legal counsel to start making offers on property that will be bought for the highway.
“They have hired a firm and contacted some landowners in Chickasaw Trails and IDA has signed off on lots of papers,” Mobley said. “The county had to move three (sewer) lift stations and sewer lines and MDOT has to pay for it. They have negotiated with the city of Byhalia to buy land.”
“So they will be wanting to buy Bennett’s land, too,” Hurdle said.
Mobley indicated MDOT pays for property and for any damages.
Bennett said he has been in business since 1961 and had used the property for a commercial enterprise under grandfather laws. If MDOT forces him to relocate, it would pay for him to relocate his business to a commercial zone, he said.
The board entertained a motion to deny Bennett’s request. It failed with Kinkade and Agnes Foster voting aye, Hurdle and Ethleen Jones abstaining, and Flick Ash voting no.
Ash explained his vote.
“I am going to vote not to deny,” he said. “I know there are times they come out and take people’s land. He’s been in that business a long time. He’s not trying to beat anybody out of anything. He is trying to protect all these years he has been there as a business.”
Brown said the property had been zoned differently from how it has been used.
“I think it would help him some if it were rezoned,” he said.
“I would agree if it were taxed commercial,” Kinkade said.
“On advise of counsel, I motion to rezone,” said Ash.
The motion to recommend to rezone to C-1 passed 3-1 with Ash, Foster and Jones voting aye, Kinkade voting nay and Hurdle abstaining.
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