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People Have Input As Part Of Rezoning Process

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – The city’s planning commission has handled a number of issues involving zoning over the past decade since its creation. But, few have generated as much public interest as the public hearing July 7.

At issue was the rezoning of a 15.265 acre plot located on the western edge of the city bordered by Market Street, Airways Acres Drive and West Lee Street from R-1 (single family residential) to R-3 (multi-family residential).

More than 35 people opposing the rezoning made up an overflow crowd in the city boardroom that included less than a handful for the rezoning.

Planning commissioners have told the Herald that some citizens may have misunderstood the nature of the recommendation they made to city aldermen about the property.

When commissioners agreed to send the application for rezoning to aldermen for action, the document included an attachment that stipulated the conditions including:

1. The Board of Aldermen fully follow the stipulations in Sections 114.06.1, 114.06.2 and 114.06.3 of the Zoning and Development ordinance.

2. The notification of the citizens include verbiage that fully provides the definitions of R-1 property vs. R-3 property.

3. When notifying the citizens of Water Valley, we recommend that not only this information be placed for two consecutive weeks in the local newspaper, but also that a sign be placed in a visible area from the streets.

These recommendations are made to assure that the property owners that surround the subject property as well as any other concerned citizens become fully aware of this request to rezone and have an opportunity to voice any concerns at the scheduled open hearing, the document read.

“We want the citizens to have a say,” Planning Commission Chairman Ken French said, simplifying the statement.

The hearing was held…the citizens had their say…and the aldermen acted based on the conditions outlined in the law. The result was that the request for rezoning was rejected. The process worked as it was intended.


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