Vacant lot on Hwy. 6 set for clean up – Owners have filed plans with city for Arby’s restaurant

Published 5:56 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2023

The Batesville Board of Aldermen last week approved a request from Chief Building Officer Andy Berryhill to set a clean-up hearing for a vacant lot on Hwy. 6 that has become overgrown this summer.

Berryhill told aldermen he has been reluctant to issue violation for the property located between Popeye’s and Yamato Sushi and Steakhouse on the north side of Hwy. 6 because the corporation that owns the lot has repeatedly told Code Office officials they are in the process of developing the land for a new restaurant.

“Supposedly that’s where Arby’s is going,” Berryhill said. “We received building plans from Arby’s and reviewed them and now they’ve been sitting in the office for about a year now.”

“We make contact with the people (Sun Holdings in Texas) and they tell us that they will have people here in two weeks to start dirt work but we haven’t seen or heard from any contractors. I suggest you set a clean up hearing just in case they don’t show up in the next two weeks.”

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Berryhill later said the city ordinance, and state statute, that allows a county or municipality to mow tall grass, remove debris, and put problem properties into community standard conditions applies across the board in the city and should be enforced equally.

“When our inspectors make contact with citizens who have properties that have overgrown or become unsightly they are expected to bring their property into compliance,” Berryhill said. “We have been more than patient with the owners of this commercial property because we understand they have offices out-of-state, but we’ve had lots of complaints about this lot and it’s time to have it addressed.”

The Code Office deals with overgrown lots and properties with unsecured structures with a series of warnings, then a violation citation, and finally a public hearing to declare the property a nuisance.

This allows the city to go onto private property, perform the needed cleanup, and forward the labor charges, plus a fine, to the county to be attached to the next year’s tax rolls.