December 13, 2017 11:02:38 AM
The Starkville Planning and Zoning Commission approved the division of land for a planned industrial park in Oktibbeha County into three lots during its Tuesday meeting.
Commissioners voted 5-0 on the matter. Commissioner Tom Walker, who represents Ward 3, was absent from Tuesday's meeting. Commission Chair Michael Brooks, of Ward 4, did not vote because he presided over the meeting.
The measure commissioners approved Tuesday divides the eastern tract of land in the nearly 400-acre industrial park into two lots, the boundaries of which are set by a road that's planned to run from east to west through the property. Saunders Ramsey, with engineering firm Neel-Schaffer, said the western tract of land is being kept as one lot, as a site for potential larger projects.
The industrial park is situated near the intersection of Highway 82 and Highway 398 in north Starkville. The Oktibbeha County commissioners approved the measure with little more than procedural discussion. However, some members of the public offered opposition to the industrial park.
The industrial park's development slowed after property owners near the planned challenged a rezoning decision by the Starkville Board of Aldermen. The Oktibbeha County Circuit Court affirmed the city's rezoning order, and the property owners have since appealed the decision to the state Supreme Court. That legal battle could drag out, but city and county leaders moved ahead at a joint city-county meeting in July to approve a combined $14 million bond issuance for the project.
Leah Ellis, a member of LMK LLC which, is an appellant in the case, warned that the lawsuit is still waiting to go before the Supreme Court of Mississippi, and any decisions made should take into account that the rezoning might be denied.
Margaret Copeland, who owns land near the park and is another appellant, expressed concerns about water draining north, both onto her land and onto land owned by fellow appellant Bettye Bell.
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