Land commission

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 13, 2009

By Billy Davis

Panola County’s land commission postponed final approval for a subdivision development due to questions over allowing mobile homes.

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The commission, meeting Monday in Sardis, was set to approve Sardis Heights, located just north of the Sardis city limits. Preliminary approval of the development was given in January 2006.  

The land is zoned agriculture so the commission must approve a reclassification to a residential designation known as R-1. But commissioners noticed, minutes into their discussion, that R-1 classification allows only for so-called stick-built homes, not for mobile homes.

The matter of Sardis Heights was further complicated when commissioners recalled – possibly incorrectly according to their past board minutes – that developer Nolan West plans to allow only stick-built homes.

The allowance of mobile homes at Sardis Heights was noticed by commissioners in West’s set of covenants, the set of rules required for new subdivisions.

 “In the beginning it was stick-built homes,” Diane Stewart, the county permit clerk, said during board discussion.

“That’s what I recall,” added commissioner Sledge Taylor.

Others commissioners, and commission consultant Bob Barber, also recalled a prohibition against mobile homes. But board minutes from the 2006 commission meeting show that West mentioned his plan to allow mobile homes.

“Mr. West stated that the purpose of the reclassification is in order to develop a single family residential subdivision that will include homes and mobile homes,” the minutes read in part.

The land commission, at the 2006 meeting, voted unanimously to recommend approving the development, minutes also show.

The Panolian reported at the time that West told commissioners he would permit “nice double wides” with proper underpinning and a pitched roof.

At the Monday meeting, Roy Scallorn, who is employed by West’s W&W Contractors, repeated that West plans to allow “nice double wides” in the development. West did not attend the meeting.

“The main intention is to build homes but not to exclude mobile homes,” explained Scallorn.

But commissioner members were faced with two problems: the R-1 classification, which does not include mobile homes, and their own recollections of West’s stated plans.

Commission chairman Danny Walker then asked Scallorn is he wanted to postpone the matter or remove the allowance for mobile homes, which would allow the R-1 designation. Scallorn replied that he would postpone the matter and report the situation to West.

The commission then voted to allow Barber and board attorney Colmon Mitchell to research the matter and report their findings at the March meeting.