By Rupert Howell
Panola County Land Use Commissioners at their regular meeting held Monday, July 14 approved two special exception requests, one involving a Mexican fare carry out food stand, and another for a convenience store/restaurant in Pope at a former restaurant site at Highway 51 and Pope-Water Valley Road.
Commissioners tentatively approved a 20-year special exception for Goolsby Mobile Homes on Highway 6 east of Batesville.
Goolsby sought a commercial classification for 5.4 acres where he currently operates a family mobile home business, stating that he wanted to insure the location for the future. The business has operated with a special exception on land classified agricultural.
Commissioners discussed the change and offered to give Goolsby a 20-year special exception instead of the requested commercial designation noting that property on two sides was residential, with commissioner Danny Jones stating, “Once it goes commercial, it stays.”
Goolsby was happy with the special exception but Commission Attorney Ryan Revere warned that the public hearing had advertised for a change to commercial, not an additional special exception.
Commission Chairman Danny Walker offered to run an advertisement giving notice of a request for special exception for next month’s meeting which was agreeable with commissioners and Goolsby.
“Mr. Goolsby has done every thing we’ve asked of him,” Walker noted.
The monthly meeting was held at the Sardis Courthouse and was delayed for approximately 20 minutes until a quorum was present.
Commission members present besides Walker, Jones were Arlene Wilson, Bob Haltom, Verna Lasha-Hunter and Tim Holliday.
Commissioners gave tentative approval for a special exception to Charles Briggs’ plan to build a gas station/convenience store, bait shop and restaurant 6392 Highway 51 Pope. Briggs said new construction would be set back further from the highway than the existing structure to allow more parking.
Louis Pegarus also received a special exception for property classified agricultural and will sell “tacos, fajitas and stuff,” from a food stand on Highway 35 near Sardis with hours set by commissioners from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Pegarus said he would open from 5-9 p.m. on weekdays and noon until 9 p.m. on Saturday.
Panola county’s Land Use Commission meets on the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m. alternating between courthouses in Batesville and Sardis.