Episcopal rezoning hearing is Tuesday

Published 12:01 am Sunday, July 8, 2018

NATCHEZ — The former Trinity Episcopal Day School property could officially become rezoned as a business district at Tuesday’s Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen meeting.

The agenda for the 11 a.m. meeting at the Council Chambers building lists a public hearing for Trinity Episcopal Church’s application to rezone the property — located south of town off U.S. 61 and that is currently a single-family residential R-1 zone — into a B-2 general business zone. Reclassifying would make the property easier to sell for the church and allow for certain types of businesses to be established in the area.

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With multiple public forums leading up to this point, Tuesday’s hearing will give the public one last opportunity to air any comments on the matter before city leaders take up whether to approve the rezoning.

Last month, the city’s planning commission gave the “OK” to rezone the property after the church compromised by dropping its initial request for a B-4 classification — the largest-scale commercial use zone listed in the city’s code — to a less intense B-2. The decision resulted in large part from feedback given by nearby residents of the Woodhaven subdivision, which abuts the former school’s property.

In addition to reducing the zone classification, the church also offered to further limit what types of establishments could go on the property that would normally be permitted in a B-2, such as bars or hotels, city planner Riccardo Giani said last month.

Giani also said a landscape buffer would be implemented to protect the privacy of Woodhaven residents.

Though the planning commission gave approval, the final say rests with the board of aldermen following Tuesday’s public hearing.

Aside from the rezoning issue, other items listed on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting include:

* Recognition of former Natchez Mayor Tony Byrne’s 50th anniversary in taking office

* Swearing in of the municipal court clerk

Recognizing the retirements of battalion chief Chris Gibson and Lt. Darrell Carter of the Natchez Fire Department