Photo by Sue Watson
Jerry Nichols (left) seeks zoning rules changes. He wants to locate two trailers for leasing to construction workers in District 3. In back are Eddie Dixon, Chuck Thomas and Keith Taylor.
County reconsiders zoning rules
With numerous complaints coming in, particularly from residents living in R-E zoning, the Marshall County Board of Supervisors is considering ways to improve zoning regulations.
As an example, Jerry Nichols, who has property in an R-E zone, said he cannot make use of his property. He wants to put two or three double-wide mobile homes on his property on Highway 309 North. He said the construction of Interstate 269 right behind his property has boxed him in regarding developing new lots.
He said he had set up several house trailers for construction workers helping build I-269 so they did not have to stay in motels while away from home.
“They were the best renters I have ever had,” Nichols said. “A lot of them couldn’t find places to stay and lived in motels. I thought after they left that Chickasaw Trail is the best place to be as far as contractors go.”
Nichols asked for a permit to add two double-wides to his property to rent to contractors. He said those who rented before his property became land-locked on the back side were good renters and kept the gate locked on weekends when they went home.”
“To be brutally honest, my goal was to make that little piece of profit,” Nichols said.
He paid $10,000 in property taxes on land he cannot make profitable. The property in question is over 400 acres of family land from the corner of I-69 to the Coldwater River.
“It’s just laying there,” he said.
District 3 Supervisor Keith Taylor explained to the board that Nichols would have to get his property rezoned first.
Nichols said he could make a couple of lots, as necessary.
Taylor said 1.5 acres or more are needed for a dwelling and three acres would be enough to rezone for two mobile homes.
“People in the county go above and beyond to help this county,” Taylor said. “Mr. Jerry is one of them.”
The owner has to have a purpose to spot zone that is permitted in R-E, Taylor said.
“It’s just like Casey Road,” said supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett. “It is getting so populated, sooner or later we will have to open some places for stores.”
Taylor said when planning was done, some of the land zoned R-E should have been kept Agricultural.
“It’s hard to accept and we have 400 acres there and can’t put dwellings on it,” Nichols said.
His property does not touch Gravel Pit Road or Bubba Taylor Road where lots could be zoned for mobile homes. Interstate 69 runs right down his property line so he can’t put anything on the back side of his land.
Taylor said 99 percent of the land in his district is zoned R-E.
“It puts a burden on landowners,” he said.
District 2 supervisor Eddie Dixon said, “I’ve got the same problem.”
Taylor made a motion to send Nichols back to zoning.
“We’ve been against spot zoning,” Bennett said.
But the zoning regulations are going to have to be changed to fit the current situation, he said.
Taylor said he understands how a person living down the road in an expensive home would not want mobile homes in the neighborhood. They believe it decreases the value of their property, he said.