Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Planning Board gets input from supervisors

By Rupert Howell
Panola supervisors and Land Use commissioners hashed out differences and made recommendations and suggestions during a joint meeting following the commission’s regular monthly meeting Monday night in the Sardis Courthouse.

Supervisor board president Kelly Morris asked commission members to be fair and not make decisions based on, “Friends of buddies.”

He also alluded to the commission’s vote on approval of a gravel mining operation in his district District Four, while the commission disapproved a similar operation in Como.

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Although supervisors eventually approved District Four mining operation, Morris let it be known that he didn’t approve it as he voted against the zoning change.

“My roads are getting torn up,” Morris said adding, “It’s going to take $750,000 of taxpayers’ money to fix that road,” he said.

Another rub, according to Morris, came with a development on Crouch and Holmes Roads when the developer led supervisors to believe that double-wide modular homes would be placed on each lot.

The county agreed to clear right-of-way to accommodate drainage prior to development that would have caused drainage problems once developed using county equipment and fuel costing thousands of dollars.
Morris said only one single-wide trailer has been placed on the development.

Commissioners explained that the developer did not have to come to the planning commission for approval as he had used existing laws to get around neighborhood regulations using three parcels with maximum yearly development on each.

Flood-plain manager and enforcement officer Chad Meek said during the conversation that many of the sub-standard properties needing attention were grandfathered into codes prior to establishment of the commission.

Regional Environmentalist Field Dew, who works closely with enforcement through his position with the Mississippi Department of Health, said his hands are sometimes tied unless he receives a complaint on sewage problems.

Dew stated that if a resident’s electricity is unhooked for non-payment they would have to have an operating sewer system to be cut back on.

Also attending Monday’s meeting were attorneys for both boards, Dew and Meek.

At the suggestion of supervisor attorney Bill McKenzie, planning consultant Bob Barber will be asked to attend next month’s meeting when the boards hold another joint meeting March 9 at the Batesville Courthouse.