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Land board allows RVs

Duck hunters allowed to park RVs off Hwy. 322 in southwest Panola County will disturb a peaceful area and cause citizens to be afraid in their homes a woman told members of the Land Development Commission at its monthly meeting last Tuesday at the Batesville Courthouse.

At issue was a request for  a special exception by Danny Baxley, Jr., who asked the board for permission to rent 1.7 acres he owns on Hwy. 332 between Crowder and Hwy. 51, to duck hunters for a living area during waterfowl season.

Baxley said a group of hunters from Tupelo and Alabama asked him to lease them the property for their use about five months a year. He said the hunters paid to have the area graded, covered in gravel, and equipped with five electric hook-up stations that will service two RVs each.

Baxley told the commission he was unable to have power connected when TVEPA told him that a permit was required from the county because a special exception is needed before people can occupy RVs on a regular basis – other than camping outings and weekend visits.

The land board members also heard from Ruby Kate Roberson Harris who objected to the allowance of an exception. She said all of the surrounding property is owned by members of her family, and the space the RVs would occupy is adjacent to her driveway.

“This arrangement will interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of our property,” Harris said. “My mother is 95 years old and has been living in the same house all her life. We’re both old widow women living down there and we’re not real happy about knowing that a lot of strangers with guns and beer are going to be coming in at the end of our driveway.”

“It’s a very uncomfortable position,” she said.

Board members were sympathetic to Harris’ concerns, but noted that Baxley was asking to use his property in a legal manner, and was following the correct procedure in doing so. Baxley also has a working sewer treatment plant on the property left from a previous residence and the area has community water.

Baxley told Harris and the board that while he had not vetted each hunter, he knew them to be doctors, lawyers, and businessmen, who spent large sums in leases south of Crowder to hunt ducks. The board was advised that the men’s occupations could not be a gauge for their character, and whether they were likely to drink beer and disturb the peace.

The board voted unanimously to allow the RVs, but reminded Baxley that Panola County has an ordinance that limits anyone living in an RV to 156 days per calendar year.

In other business the board unanimously approved a lifetime extension of  a special exception for Karen Ott Mayer to continue operating her bed and breakfast, Moon Hollow Farm & Country House, on 26 acres outside Como.

Board members congratulated Mayer on the success of the bed and breakfast and said no complaints have been lodged against the business since its opening.