December 8, 2005

Citizen Complaint Raises Zoning Issues With Proposed Business Expansion

Building permits and zoning issues continued to be a point of contention at the December 1 meeting of the Memphis City Council. Citizen Jay Brush addressed the council regarding issues with the city’s policies governing construction.

Brush, who currently serves on the city’s planning and zoning board, questioned the current expansion at an industrial site in the north part of town. He raised concerns about an existing city agreement with the manufacturer that allows the property owner to expand without completing the building permit process.

City Attorney David Peppard indicated that the ground is still owned by the city, and the city is not required to obtain a building permit for projects. Peppard stated the company entered a contract with the city in 2001, which does require the business to receive written approval of the city council for any new construction at the site. He pointed out that such a proposal was scheduled on the December agenda to be reviewed by the council.

Brush questioned when the city was going to begin following its zoning laws, noting concerns about paint emissions from the manufacturing site. He pointed out the apparent lack of a “buffer zone” between the commercial site and the adjoining residential area, as required by current zoning ordinances.

Peppard stated he would need to review the zoning code to make a determination if any ordinances were being broken in regards to Brush’s complaints.

The council voted to table approval of the building plans for the site until the zoning issues could be resolved and a meeting could be scheduled with the company’s ownership.

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