The rezoning requests had been tabled at the last council meeting of the previous administration after council members raised questions regarding the rezoning.
Carl and Chris Frost had asked that their property on Rouse Road be rezoned from agricultural to business-2 in order to sell the property to Lynn Tolbert for his sign company. Both Frosts and Tolbert appeared at the meeting to appeal to the council on the matter.
The city’s zoning board had previously recommended that the Frost property’s rezoning be approved, but the council makes the final decision. Bill Fowler and Kenneth Russell voted against the rezoning, while Brian Sides and new council members Diane Martin and Floyd Burton abstained, saying they simply didn’t have enough information or experience with the matter.
Sides said he abstained because of concerns about the legality of “spot zoning.”
Mayor Petey Ellis and other council members had also expressed concern about state laws that prohibit one property from being rezoned when it doesn’t adjoin other properties of that type. The veterinary clinic on the nearby property is allowed in the agricultural zone and a daycare is allowed in any of the city’s zones. Churches and schools are also allowed in any zone.
Fowler said he voted against the change because of concern that rezoning the property would open the property up to other types of businesses and because of its proximity to the neighboring daycare and residential area.
The other property, owned by Donald Wolfe, also on Rouse Road, would need to be rezoned to manufacturing in order to house a paint and body shop for automobiles, according to City Clerk Judy Glover, who is also on the zoning board.
The zoning board recommended that property not be rezoned at this time.
More than 30 minutes of discussion did not change the council’s mind and Carl Frost said he may pursue legal avenues to have the property rezoned.