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Land-use proposal could affect loan stores

 

David Miller

 

The Starkville Board of Aldermen had its second public hearing to repeal and replace its current chart of permitted land uses with a more streamlined one. 

 

City Planner Ben Griffith told the board the chart was consolidated from 11 pages to a single sheet and categorizes groups of industry -- like personal services of dry cleaners, barber shops and nail salons -- to streamline the uses. 

 

The Planning and Zoning Commission also wanted to preserve agricultural uses and make it easier to accommodate recreational activities.  

 

The chart, however, drew criticism from Ward 3 Alderman Eric Parker, who noted that title loan businesses would be restricted to conditional use only. Additionally, title loan businesses would be restricted to manufacturing zones. Existing businesses will be able to remain at their current locations.  

 

Dumas said there are 22 check-cashing businesses from Walmart on Highway 12 to Spring Street, and while he respects the businesses that have been there, he feels it's in the best interest of the city to limit future locations. 

 

"To me, that's very restrictive," Parker said. "I'm not a fan of these businesses, but they provide a lot of rent." 

 

The board later voted 4-3 to extend its moratorium on new payday loan businesses for another two months. Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver was absent from the meeting, so Mayor Parker Wiseman was the tiebreaking vote. 

 

Ward 7 Alderman Henry Vaughn Sr. argued that extending the moratorium was unfair because many people in the city can't obtain loans at banks. 

 

Parker cast a nay vote because the city extended the moratorium just a year earlier and said the city must find a resolution in the zoning ordinance.

 

 

 

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