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City Planners Handle Two Requests

Randy Simmons received the nod to add on to his shop on Blackmur Drive. – Photo by Jack Gurner

This building located in the Blackmur Housing Authority currently has the right side vacant. Authority Director Barron Caulfied is seeking to have part of the building rezoned to allow the office portion of the building to be rented. – Photo by Jack Gurner

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – The Planning Commission met briefly on Monday night, August 18, with two agenda items. One was the perplexing matter of whether or not part of a building could be rezoned.

Barron Caulfield, Executive Director of the Water Housing Authority, told the commissioners that the authority moved to a new office four years ago. “We were on the southeast corner of Blackmur and Simmons and now we’re on the southwest corner.”

“In that four year time we’ve had several thoughts about what we would do with the old office,” he said. “Mostly our own uses. We thought about having a maintenance office in there. We thought about having a computer center for our resident adults. We thought about renting it to somebody who didn’t have any customer walkup traffic.”

Caulfield explained that the authority’s board had heard a preliminary proposal from an individual who would like to rent the office portion of the building that also houses two apartments.

He asked if part of the building could be rezoned for an office while leaving the apartments zoned multifamily residential.

Commission Chairman Billy Humphreys said that he saw nothing in the ordinance that says the whole building has to be included in a zone.

Commission members agreed that a legal opinion would be needed from David Burns, attorney for the Board of Aldermen.

Next, Randy Simmons, owner Simmons Garage at 711 Blackmur Dr., appeared to ask if he could build an 18′ by 60′ addition to his shop. Although Simmon’s shop is located in an area zoned R-1 (single family dwelling) the shop area is zoned C-2 (neighborhood convenience).

Commissioners discussed why the garage was zoned C-2 and concluded that it was because it was in a residential area and already in existence when the new zoning ordinance was put into place. According to old zoning map, the shop area was in an area zoned commercial.

“If it is already zoned like that, then what’s the difference? It’s not going to change the business,” commented Commissioner Bonnie Cox. “He’s just going to have more space.”

Commissioners concluded that structure was already properly zoned and it was just a matter of getting a building permit. Humphreys said that the finding of the commission would be put into the minutes and city officials would be made aware so that Simmons could begin his project.

The Planning Commission meets on the third Monday of each month in the boardroom at City Hall. Persons wishing to appear before the group should call City Clerk Vivian Snider to be placed on the agenda.

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