­County nightclub denied, owner will appeal decision

Published 4:47 pm Wednesday, October 3, 2018


The Panola County Land Development Commission, by a vote of 7-2, denied a request by Fred Daugherty to reopen Rolling Hills Lodge at its regular meeting last week.

Daugherty was seeking a special exemption to open the nightclub, which he owned and operated for more than 20 years until he shut the doors about three years ago. Any business closed for more than 120 days must re-apply to open.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Daugherty told commissioners he is being treated for bone marrow cancer and needs the extra income during his illness. Most of the board members were sympathetic to his plight, but would not vote to allow Rolling Hills to reopen.

Just one person came to oppose the opening and he spoke on behalf of Wesley Chapel Methodist Church, which sits directly east of the former bar property on Hwy. 315. A letter from the church was read to the board.

Daugherty’s friends had drawn up a petition with several names and signatures asking that Rolling Hills be reopened. Commissioner Danny Jones said the many of the names appeared to be in the same handwriting.

Daugherty said he will appeal the decision to the Panola County Board of Supervisors next month. That same board denied an appeal from Robert Ruby in January to reopen Rolling Hills after the land development commission denied a special exception.

Ruby was a longtime employee of Rolling Hills who hoped to open the business and pay Daugherty a monthly rental fee. When Ruby was denied the permit, the property owner made his own application.

It is not clear how the board of supervisors is likely to vote on the matter, although a split vote is expected.

Also last week, the land development commission approved a special exception for Aaron Williams to operate a business, Trading Post, on Hwy. 51 N., just south of the Panola-Tate county line. Williams has been open for business for several months and said he didn’t realize he needed a special permit to operate the store.

The board told Williams to remove, or store indoors, large stacks of tires around the building and to move all his wares inside when the business is not open.

The board also approved a special exception request by Matthew McKinney to operate a car lot at 1555 Sanders Rd. McKinney told board members he has cleaned off one acre and intends to have about five cars when he opens.

One other car lot application was approved for Jimmy Hadorn and Barry Hadorn. A special exception was allowed for the building at 13170 Hwy. 6 W. to sell used cars. The building at the corner of Hwy. 6 and Farrish Gravel Rd. has been used for car sales in past years.