Aldermen expected to pass rezoning

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, July 9, 2013

NATCHEZ — The Natchez Board of Aldermen is expected to vote today on a rezoning recommendation that would allow an assisted-living facility on John R. Junkin Drive.

Mayor Butch Brown said he expects the recommendation from the Natchez Planning Commission to pass to rezone a 3.64-acre parcel of land near the Glenwood subdivision from single-family residential to a special use district.

The property owner, Gayle Evans, said he plans to build an assisted-living facility on the site.

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The planning commission voted to recommend the rezoning request in 2009, but it was later denied by the board of aldermen after several residents from the Glenwood subdivision spoke out against the development.

Residents again recently spoke out against the development at the planning commission meeting last week.

Attorney Rusty Jenkins represented Evans at the planning meeting last week and said that when Evans bought the property it was zoned as the equivalent to what is today known as a special use district.

When the city’s zoning maps were updated in 2007, a scrivener’s error marked the property as being zoned for single-family dwellings, Jenkins said.

The maps were approved by the aldermen at the time, however, and became legally binding, something Jenkins said Evans only found when he went to the planning department in 2009 to seek permits to move forward with the housing project.

Former City Planner Rusty Lewis applied to correct the maps at that time, but the board of aldermen denied the planner’s request.

Brown said that because the current zoning of the property is an error, he believes the rezoning vote will pass.

“All the mechanics are in place for it,” he said.

Brown said he also expects a vote to pass for an amendment to the city’s development code to add micro-distillery and micro-winery to the definition of micro-brewery and allow the businesses in the B-3, B-4 and in the city and by special exception in the B-2 and waterfront districts.

The amendment would be a step toward the opening of a rum micro-distillery in the former King’s Tavern bar location by local businessman Doug Charboneau.