Planner proposes way for nursing home

Published 12:05 am Thursday, August 18, 2011

NATCHEZ — City Planner Bob Nix said he and his staff have come to a recommendation for a controversial piece of property on John R. Junkin Drive next to Glenwood subdivision, and they plan to share it at tonight’s planning meeting.

Nix said in response to a developer’s wishes to put a multi-unit nursing home on the piece of property on John R. Junkin, which is adjacent to Duncan Park and runs along Homochitto Street, the planning board will recommend rezoning the property to R-2 from R-1, which would allow for a higher density population.

As it is now, the R-1 zoning means that only a single-family dwelling can stand on the 20-acre property. The probable reason for the current zoning, Nix said, is that before it burned in the 1940s, an antebellum home — called Inglewood — used to stand on those grounds. The zoning would have been intended to keep its grounds and green space from being divided.

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While moving from the R-1 zoning to R-2 means that more buildings can be included on the property, those buildings would still fall under the classification of “residential.”

“All other development (on that land) is either going to be a special exception or (developers will) have to do a planning unit development,” Nix said.

Under a planning unit development, he said, the developing company would have to submit a list of land uses for the site, which the city’s planning board could approve or not approve.

The developers would also be required to present a proposed layout of the streets, and the city could tailor the development of the site as it saw fit, Nix said.

Rezoning the area first became an issue in 2009, when former City Planner Rusty Lewis proposed it to be rezoned as a special use district.

Glenwood residents said doing so would raise safety concerns when the Mississippi Department of Transportation would add a turning lane in the area, making the intersection there more dangerous.

The board will meet at 5:15 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.