HomeNewsCity Council approves compromise on land between neighbors, developer

City Council approves compromise on land between neighbors, developer

By Brandon Shields

Managing editor

The Jackson City Council held its monthly meeting Tuesday, and of the 75 minutes of the meeting, one issue consumed more than half the time of the meeting.

That issue was regarding the annexation and zoning of land on the eastern end of town.

A land-owner identified in the meeting agenda as “John Ross” asked for a little more than 285 acres near the intersection of Highway 70 and Browns Church Road to be annexed into the city limits and zoned for light industrial.

The developer has plans of putting warehouses on the site.

Clay Williams represented a group of residents in the area – mainly on Browns Church Road – who were at first opposed to the annexation but approached Tuesday’s meeting asking for a compromise.

“We can’t and don’t want to stand in the way of progress for the city,” Williams said during the public comments portion of the meeting. “But we are asking for some kind of compromise so the way of rural live we’ve chosen by living on Browns Church Road isn’t taken away from us.”

Williams mentioned there were some residents in attendance who’d lived on the road all their lives, and even some whose families had been on their properties for multiple generations because of the rural aspect of living on the eastern side of the county outside the city.

City Planner Stan Pilant approached the Council later in the meeting when the agenda reached that item and let everyone in the room know about a planned compromise.

The company planned to not have any access points to the warehouses from Browns Church Road, which is one thing the residents asked for. They also had revised their request to annex their property up to about 300 feet away from Browns Church Road to allow for a buffer zone to remain between the road and the warehouses.

After more than a half-hour of discussion among the City Council members and asking Pilant multiple questions about the use, Brad Anderson, a project manager with H&M Construction representing the company confirmed for the Council and the residents that the company is locally owned and operated and wants to be a good neighbor.

They were willing to work with the residents to ensure their property isn’t impeded by theirs.

Williams was allowed to come back to the table to have discussion with Pilant, Anderson and the Councilmembers to ensure they understood what the compromise was comprised of.

The annexation and zoning was approved unanimously with the exception of Julie Holt’s abstinence because she’s a realtor and owns land affected by the vote.

Other items handled during the meeting include:

The Council approved $16,000 to be used to survey the location for the proposed public safety complex that would be the new headquarters for both Jackson Police and Jackson Fire departments.

With this being first reading, Mayor Scott Conger said he expected the survey work to begin soon after the April Council meeting when they’re set to vote on the second reading.

The Council unanimously approved the second reading for a couple of budget amendments that result in new paving equipment for the city ($485,576.70) and a new street department truck ($15,000).

They approved spending $29,000 to fix the roof on the Jackson-Madison County Public Library.

Two votes that were not unanimous were the approval of $850,000 being dispersed from the general fund for the ECD Childcare Grant and the approval of the memorandum of understanding agreements with YMCA and Hands Up! Preschool related to that grant.

Councilman Richard Donnell voted no on the grant approval and abstained from the MOU vote.

“I disagree with the process of how this grant was awarded, and there’s no money going to childcare facilities in East Jackson,” Donnell said after the meeting when asked about it.

Citizen Sabrina Parker brought concerns to the Council at their December meeting about the awarding process because of certain people connected to YMCA and Hands Up! being too close to the approval process, making the process unfair to other local facilities.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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