Board looks at zoning issue
With new growth in Marshall County, there is an upsurge in requests for permits for metal buildings that serve a dual role as a house and business.
When these go in, neighbors complain to their supervisor and then the flack hits the zoning commission.
The next step is a trip to chancery court where the issue is litigated.
County attorney Kent Smith spoke to the issue when John Wilkinson came to the board of supervisors to discuss his plans for a 50' by 60' metal building. Living space would be 800 square feet and 2,000 square feet would be heated storage. His property is zoned R-1.
Smith noted that Wilkinson is in the HVAC business and suspected he would run his business out of the structure.
The county already is in the process of litigating a property near Wilkinson's property and a third property as well, Smith said.
"The board issued a stop work order because it does not want to have to sue you down the road," Smith said. "You can't believe how many people come to the board and they get amnesia and wind up in chancery court."
Wilkinson said he does not intend to run a business there.
District 3 supervisor Keith Taylor said there are two properties near Wilkinson's where owners applied for permits, saying they are going to use their buildings for personal use. Instead they are operating a wrecker service there and the county is planning to go to court to stop it.
"It is in a platted subdivision and the county honors their covenants," Taylor said. `In Marshall County everybody talks. Are you saying there will not be a worker come up there every morning?"
Smith said the county wants to maintain the covenants and the zoning regulations.
"It's amazing these barndominiums or personal combos; shops or night clubs running out of them," he said.
Wilkinson said he wants to store his personal stuff in the building. He said he just lost his wife and he wants it for personal use only.
Smith said he believes Wilkinson is honest about his intentions because he came to the board to make his request known.
In another matter, zoning director Ken Jones said there is a person who wants to reopen the race track in Byhalia.
"Is there a problem?" Jones asked.
Taylor asked if the county could legally deny the request because of the Coronavirus problem.
"I want to make sure they don't impact peoples lives," he said. Taylor said once the track
has ceased operations, it cannot be grandfathered back in.
In the matter of a couple who had been ordered to move a dilapidated mobile home from their property, Jones said the mobile home had been moved around the corner. The buyer said he will tear it down or move it out of the county, Jones said.
This releases George and Ora Cook from the cleanup order.
District 4 supervisor George Zinn III said someone wants to set up a mobile food pantry (Mid-South Food Bank) at the Marshall County Fairgrounds once a month.
Vehicles would come through the parking lot to be loaded and go back out, he said. The pantry would run from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.
Zinn said there is a dire need for food for families because children are out of school and cannot be fed by the school lunch program.
District 1 supervisor Charles Terry approved of the measure. The board passed a motion to allow the Fairgrounds to be used for food distribution during the time of the pandemic only.
The board discussed a question of if a noise ordinance could be put in place in the vicinity of racetracks.
Terry said he had complaints on Memorial Day of the track off Highway 7 South operating from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m.
"If you can hear it on your property, can you shut it down?" Terry asked.
Smith said the limit on the operation hours and the noise as measured in decibels can be put into an ordinance. The decibels would give an objective measure on when it is too loud, Smith said.
"What about a limit on the hour they must close at night?" Terry asked.
"Yes, if you put after a time at night and the decibel limit," Smith said.
The board passed a motion to work up a draft on such an ordinance.