Thursday, April 22, 2010
More acreage added to park
By SUE WATSON
Six hundred and seventy acres owned by developer William Adair of Rossville, Tenn., will be rezoned industrial and commercial and added to the Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park.
The Marshall County Zoning Board, upon the motion of member J.M. Ash, recently voted 4-0 to OK the rezoning and recommend it to the board of supervisors. After a public hearing Monday, supervisors voted 4-0 to approve the rezoning. One member of each five-member board was absent for the vote.
Three hundred forty-three acres are located in a single tract of land north of Highway 72, and 331 acres to be rezoned are located in a single tract south of Highway 72. The new road to the Memphis Intermodal Yard to be built by Norfolk Southern Railroad will be built from Highway 72 northward to the yard.
Adair signed a memorandum of understanding with Marshall County Industrial Development Authority, which negotiated with the zoning board on his behalf through Bill Mobley, executive director of IDA.
Under the agreement, those who sign on to put their land in the industrial park have to abide by the land use plan which is available on the IDA website (www.marshallcoms.org), Mobley said. A percentage of any land sold in the industrial park area goes to IDA for laying down of infrastructure (water, sewer, natural gas, roads) for the park and surrounding areas.
The industrial park is positioned to be a hub for growth in the county by virtue of its connections to Fayette County, Tenn., and the intermodal yard, and by connection with several interstate highways being built (I-69, I-22) and by proximity to the Memphis transportation hub (air, water, rail, road).
“The whole idea is to control traffic and growth the best we can,” Mobley said in prefacing remarks.
The State Legislature has committed $8 million to construction of an overpass where Adair’s road will join Highway 72.
He said the Tennessee Valley Authority, Mississippi Development Authority, the North Mississippi Development Association, Norfolk Southern and the governor’s office believe the addition of these 670-plus acres will make the industrial park grow.
“They say they will help us,” he said.
Mobley said Adair will build a rail spur to run on one side of the new road to the industrial park, with the new road being the only access to traffic through the northern 340-acre tract that abuts the Tennessee line.
The rail yard will not be built until a federal environmental impact study is filed, then it will take two years to build, Mobley said.
Numerous property owners in the proximity of the 670 acres attended the zoning meeting to make comment.
Betty Scobey, whose property is on Highway 72, said residents would like to see the north side of the tract to remain zoned R-2, residential.
“The industrial park has a good bit of land,” she said. “I know Mr. Adair has a lot of money and we can talk all day and it won’t change anything.”
She cited four wrecks on the two-lane portion of 72 since Christmas, and the way the four-laning of four or more miles of 72 has been talked about but postponed.
And she would like to see the traffic from the intermodal yard going through the existing industrial park and connecting to Highway 302.
“I’m not opposed. I know the county needs this,” Scobey said.
She wants to protect her home and quality of life, she said.
“We face the same thing,” said zoning board member Bill Kinkade.
He also lives in the area.
Jim Linderman, of Linderman Road, said his area would be affected on the north and the west sides by the rezoning. He asked to see maps.
“One thing worries me - exactly where this rail spur comes south of Highway 72,” he said. “What is that going to do to Nonconnah Creek?”
Mobley said people are always worried about spills, but most concerns about spills would affect Tennessee.
A.W. Wade argued that there are plenty of empty warehouses on Stateline Road and in Tennessee.
“Where will you find land for people to live?” he asked.
Zoning board member Joe Hurdle answered that two subdivisions, with a capacity for 1,800 homes, have already been approved in the area.
“These people want to live close to work,” Wade said. “The powers that be don’t want people moving into North Marshall County.”
Kinkade said District 2 and District 3 have land zoned for Residential Estates to promote growth.
“We hope to position ourselves for a better tax base in 10 years,” he said.
Mobley said the property in question is taxed agricultural but when someone puts a business in the area, the tax increases and provides more revenue for schools. After a 10-year tax exemption, industry and commercial businesses pay full taxes, he said. That increase in tax revenue supports the entire county and every citizen.
Thanking the board, Wade said he is 77 and retired.
“I don’t want my water table messed up and I don’t want to move again,” he said.
Dana Lackey of Knox Road asked what the rezoning would do to home values.
Mobley said work toward growth in the industrial park area has been ongoing for 20 years and has resulted in the coming of I-69, a huge interchange; rail service to the area; water, sewer and gas; and two wireless providers. Marshall County did not recruit the intermodal yard, he said.
“It was recruited by Tennessee, but it gives us an opportunity,” he said.
Lackey suggested a study be done on how the development would affect the tax base.
Janice Kilpatrick, of North Linderman Road, suggested residents on her road would be adversely affected the most. She asked for help and that no truck stop be constructed near her area. She said when the area is rezoned C-1, truck stops will go up on Highway 72.
She said residents on Linderman Road who own property zoned R-E cannot sell their homes and land and get their investment back out of it if the rezoning occurs.
Mobley said the covenants property owners must abide by in the industrial park are pretty strict. He hopes Mississippi Department of Transportation will get the four-lane completed, he said.
Kilpatrick said people in Marshall County will end up paying more taxes, not less.
“I don’t have time to debate you,” Mobley said.
“All we want is help,” Kilpatrick said. “Will you please think of us on Linderman Road? Please don’t do a C-2 right there which will be a truck stop.”
Hurdle said as soon as Highway 72 is four-laned, getting in and out of Linderman will be much easier.
Bill Earnestly asked how many families would be uprooted, what would happen to property values, and what type of industry is the county soliciting?
Kinkade said there are no families on the north tract - 343 acres.
Earnestly said these are important considerations - how families and communities will be impacted and tax dollars that will be generated for schools.
Mobley said no one can know in advance what type of industry will come.
Kinkade summarized what zoning considers – is there a public need for rezoning and what type of controls should be placed on development.
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