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Developer considers asking city council to rezone his land

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Nov. 28, 2001
A Meridian developer said Tuesday night he may ask the city council to let him use property along Highway 39 North for commercial purposes a move the planning commission rejected.
Jack Joyner wants to rezone 90 feet of land just south of a closed State Farm Insurance building on the east side of Highway 39 North. The land is next to the Country Squire Estates subdivision.
About 50 residents of the Country Squire Estates attended the commission meeting; a few of the them spoke to the panel. The planning commission is an advisory board for the city.
Joyner originally planned to ask the city to rezone about 723 feet of street-front property on the east side of Highway 39 North. The land straddles the entrance into Country Squire Estates.
Joyner's request
On Tuesday, he requested the land immediately south of the State Farm Insurance building be rezoned so that a potential buyer of the property would have room for additional parking.
Syria Sturdivant, an attorney who lives in the subdivision, spoke on residents' behalf. She said the change doesn't meet the standards of the city's zoning ordinance which mandates a proposal not be a "small parcel of land singled out for special and privileged treatment."
She said rezoning would create heavier traffic for residents, who have only one entrance and exit for their subdivision.
Lengthy history
Joyner said a mistake was made when the Highway 39 North property was zoned residential in 1994. When he bought the property in 1979, he said, it was zoned commercial.
Joyner tried to persuade city leaders to rezone his property as commercial in 1996. But the planning commission and city council denied Joyner's request that year.
Joyner's attorney told the planning commission Tuesday that their decision would determine if Joyner's property sold. Rezoning it wouldn't affect traffic because the property is "should have no impact on their subdivision."
David Booker, a Country Squire Estates resident, said the 1996 city decision against rezoning the land was the "reason I bought my home. If you overturn that decision, I would sell my home if I could."
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at