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Residents, developer clash over Highway 39 North land

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Nov. 25, 2001
Plans by a Meridian developer to use land along Highway 39 North for commercial purposes has upset nearby residents who say it could increase traffic and decrease property values.
Some residents of Country Squire Estates say they disagree with developer Jack Joyner's plans to re-zone from residential to commercial 723 feet of street-front property on the east side of the highway.
Joyner is scheduled to appear before the Meridian Planning Commission when the board meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Commission members could recommend the city council re-zone the land for commercial use.
Joyner said he wants to develop the Highway 39 North land for professional offices. He said the land originally was commercial, but was changed in 1994 to single-family dwelling because of a zoning error.
Joyner said he doesn't know how the error occurred. Meridian planning officials could not be reached for comment.
But when 25 to 30 people protested the commercial zoning, Joyner said, the planning commission and the city council rejected his request.
Residents balk
Farrar said he is concerned that businesses built on Joyner's property would increase the number of cars, traffic jams and wrecks at the Country Squire Estates entrance off Highway 39 North.
Frank Baker, a Country Squire Estates resident who lives near Farrar, said he worries that commercial development on Joyner's land near the subdivision could reduce residents' property values.
Baker also said he doesn't want businesses built at the only entrance and exit to his subdivision.
Joyner sympathizes
Joyner, owner of Jack Joyner Building and Development Inc., said other subdivision residents want to keep the property as a buffer between Highway 39 North and their homes.
He said he understands that residents want a buffer zone. But he said he stands to lose a lot of money if the area isn't re-zoned.
If he could sell the land today, he said, it might go for $5,000 to $10,000 a lot. If he could sell the land as commercial property, he said, it would sell for at least $50,000 a lot.
Joyner said he could get more than $350,000 for all the street-front property if the land was re-zoned commercial.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at
The Meridian Planning Commission meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Municipal Courtroom at the Meridian Police Department headquarters. The public is invited to attend.