City passes new business zoning rules

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 14, 1999

City planners hope a newly passed zoning amendment will be more restrictive toward businesses trying to locate near residential neighborhoods.

The board of aldermen passed an amendment Tuesday to the zoning ordinance for B-1 neighborhood business districts.

&uot;We felt this was important to protect neighborhoods,&uot; City Planner David Preziosi said.

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The amendment removes many of the charter uses that were permitted in the district and makes them uses by special exception. Special exception uses must be approved by the Natchez Zoning Board of Adjustment.

The amendment includes these restrictions:

n Requiring approval by special exception a number of land uses now permitted by right;

n Enabling the planning commission to address buffering and screening in the form of landscaping or fencing on a case-by-case basis when non-residential properties are next to residential properties;

n Reducing the building height from 35 feet to 25 feet.

&uot;It does not allow tall buildings to overshadow a neighborhood,&uot; said Mayor Larry L. &uot;Butch Brown.

Some land uses that were permitted in B-1 districts but will nowbe be permitted only by special exception are automobile filling stations, clubs or lodges, drug store, fix-it shops, grocery stores, restaurants and retail sporting goods stores.

A requested rezoning that will be affected by the amendment is one that would rezone a lot on Lower Woodville Road from open land to B-1. The Natchez Metro Planning Commission has tabled the request from Trace Publishing Co. and Pollard, Pollard and Rayborn to rezone the parcels at 221 and 224 Lower Woodville Road to make way for office space. According to records at the city planner’s office, Allgood Business Machines plans to buy the property for its office.

The planning commission is expected to take up the request at its Thursday meeting at 5 p.m. at city council chambers on South Pearl Street.

A group of residents in the Lower Woodville Road area has expressed opposition to the rezoning, and they are signing a petition against it.

Preziosi said that if the area is rezoned, the new amendment will protect the neighborhood from future uses of the property that could be inappropriate for the area.

&uot;That area may be well-suited to an office building, but it wouldn’t be suited to a filling station,&uot; Preziosi said.