Wednesday, August 27, 2014

6-3 (Video)

Motion before Jackson Zoning Board to rezone Lakeland Drive property fails 6-3.  The video and story will be posted later tonight.  The video of the entire hearing is posted below.  I'll try to post an edited version today with the highlights.  Meanwhile, the Yarber administration issued this press release:


The City of Jackson is not deterred by the action of the Jackson Planning Board. The responsibility of the Planning Board members is to consider what was before them, which was rezoning.  However, use was made the issue, and that was inappropriate.  The request for rezoning would have allowed for the progressive movement of the City of Jackson for the betterment of our city and its citizens, while preserving quality of life. 



City staff recommended two options for zoning reclassification, among which included the zoning classification of Community Mixed Use.  This zoning classification promotes “work-live communities” that include parks, residential living, open spaces, and businesses. The City has seen success with this zoning classification in our Fondren area, and is hopeful that such success will continue with the most recent community mixed use development, The District at Eastover. 

 

The City of Jackson will continue to fight on behalf of its citizens. The Secretary of State is mistaken in his assertion, as the 313 acres was parceled off many years ago, with specific parcels being deeded to the state of Mississippi for non-park purposes.  Therefore, it is the City’s position that the issue of the reverter may have been waived and is now moot. 



This City is open for business, and we will move forward in inviting businesses to Jackson, and increasing the quality of life of our citizens. The City will achieve this goal through not only economic development, but across the entire City of Jackson by improvements to all of our parks, including the revitalization of the Jackson Zoo area.  We are the place you come to visit and never want to leave. This is the Bold New City.

53 comments:

Johnny Weir said...

Who vote for it @ who voted against it. Wow! Talk about a lost opportunity. I quess Jackson only wants check cashing, convience stores and slum hotels.

Anonymous said...

my point EXACTLY!!!

Anonymous said...

Johnny, I think you misunderstand the City of Jackson's stance on this issue. The City of Jackson does not control the Jackson Planning Board. In fact, it was the City of Jackson that requested that the parcel be rezoned (as you can see from the fourth line on the linked article http://www.clarionledger.com/story/business/2014/08/27/board-denies-costco-site/14700163/).

No need to trash Jackson over this. Jackson did not make the decision to deny its own request.

Anonymous said...

Yarber can't just talk transparency. His administration actually has to be transparent. He and it has not been forthcoming to the public on this proposed zoning change.

Anonymous said...

A Costco store or any commercial establishment on the Smith Wills site died before this rezoning was not approved.

http://www.clarionledger.com/story/money/business/2014/08/20/liquor-laws-old-landfill-work-costco-sites/14350717/

Anonymous said...

The administration has to stop putting stuff up to bat, without knowing if its gonna be hit out of the park. Reminds me of the post on the school board nominations from earlier today. Don't push it if you don't yet have the votes. You'd think Yarber would be well aware of that from his time on the council.

Anonymous said...

4:54, not quite. Yes there was a landfill there - but seems that they ly were able to figure out a way to build a baseball stadium, a museum and an office building on the site. Bet they could design a Costco also.

And the 'deed conditions' weren't necessarily a death toll either. Just an obstacle to be overcome.

But obviously the first obstacle is the Planning Board. Seems it is still populated with Harvey appointments.

Anonymous said...

All this vote did is follow State law. If the C-3 request had been approved the land could be lost for ever. City will try some "planning 2 step" that will use smoke and mirrors but nothing the city can over will trump the deed restriction.

Anonymous said...

Mr Mayor---DO NOT let this deter u--keep pushing--if it was easy ANYONE cud do it!!

Anonymous said...

... but seems that they ly were able to figure out a way to build a baseball stadium ...

You obviously weren't around (or are conveniently spinning) when the Near-Stroke Prophet efforted to mislead the City Council to spend nearly $1m on new artificial turf at Smith Wills in large part, specifically, because the previous landfill at that location made it economically strenuous to maintain a sod field there -- which was bullshit.

That was shortly after the Near-Stroke Prophet guaranteed over the air at WJNT that Tim Bennett would NEVER build a baseball park in Pearl.

How'd that work out?

Anonymous said...

There was concern on the part of the residential areas near by about increased traffic and commercialism along Lakeland.

The neighborhoods are stable and maintaining a residential tax base inside the city limits is key to future growth.

There would be support for some types of commercial and " mixed use" but a Costco or Trader Joe's or some large commercial chain isn't it. And, if there are no visual buffers as part of the plan, the homeowners associations will fight it.

There are more logical places along Frontage Rd and Old Canton where it's already commercialized for a Costco. We need zoning that makes sense and keeps us a city with nice neighborhoods.




Anonymous said...

The neighborhoods in that area will deliver a shitstorm of biblical proportions if this project even smells of traction.

Anonymous said...

7:32. Agree. I remember the DOR debacle and the hell hell hell raised then. This will be fun to watch, as a Pearl guy.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish the wannabe Kingmaker and wannabe NEJax decision-maker is all for the rezoning. Hosemann is just another (of many) attorney the non-attorney Kingfish said on RadioKingfish this morning.

Anonymous said...

6:44 - such selfish neighborhoods will reap what they deserve. If Jackson can't generate fresh commercial development, it will become more of a hellhole, & all those prissy f---s will have moved out of Hinds anyway.

Kingfish said...

Actually what I said was what I was told yesterday at City Hall. I said it was a similar problem to what the District faced and the legislature had to change the law to make that deal happen. I didn't come out and favor it one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

This deed restriction was placed on the property over 70 years ago since the State wanted the area to be a recreational area. Nothing has changes and the City should not market land which can not be sold. Business and its agents does not try to buy property that is not for sale.

Anonymous said...

I have heard of nothing more stupid in 20 years as re zoning a public park area in the highest caliber net worth area in the state, for a blue collar department store. There is a reason we are last. Totally stupid long range.

Anonymous said...

9:17 - you sound as stupid as MBS. What made sense 70 years ago still makes sense today. 70 years ago, UMC was an insane asylum. The city did not exist past what is now Lakeland. Eastover wasn't built until the 60's. All of the money in Jackson was located along Ellis Avenue and in South Jackson (Alta Woods, etc.)

Yes, 70 years ago, this would make a good park. To say that "nothing has changed" is about the most idiotic statement I have ever seen on this site - and that is a pretty damn broad statement.

Anonymous said...

On my own accord and as a resident of Jackson, I went to most of the August 27 zoning board meeting. I was quietly in opposition to the proposed re-zoning of Smith-Wills stadium and surrounding area, but I left even more convinced of the need to oppose it. The zoning board was right; the city was wrong. The city was either being sloppy or dishonest in making their case. Problems included:

1. The city initially made no extensive argument as to what caused the sudden need to change the zoning from special use. In fact, hardly any mention was made of Costco and the city insisted that simply changing the zoning to commercial did not mean the land use would change. Then why re-zone in the first place? The city had no convincing argument.

2. The city had not provided notice that the park beside the stadium was being re-zoned. As an excuse, the statement was made that there was no place in the park to put a re-zoning notice sign. That sounds extremely dishonest as banners facing Lakeland are always in that park.

3. The city, to the derision of the audience attending the meeting, acted as though children's baseball teams would be unaffected by the re-zoning. That was categorically false.

4. The city treated the legal concerns of the Secretary of State of Mississippi with reckless disdain.

5. Separately, the city tried to apply to re-zone some currently state-owned land beside Lakeland that the state had explicitly asked not be considered at this time.

6. Beyond the meeting, I found out that Mayor Yarber had even argued that Smith-Wills didn't need to be torn down for a Costco. The intent of the proposed re-zoning clearly targeted Smith-Wills; why mislead the public?

I am extremely disappointed in the Yarber administration. If he thinks re-zoning is needed, then he should be a man and make a real, openly-argued case for it. When you walk around the main topics, conceal information from the public, and attempt either deliberately or through carelessness to mislead the public on the city's intentions, then I think the public is right to be suspicious as to what's being passed under the table. Yarber has lost my confidence as a citizen; he has the rest of his term to try to regain it. In the meantime, leave Smith-Wills and surrounding area alone. I want development and growth for Jackson, but reckless use of public lands is not the way to go.

Anonymous said...

"such selfish neighborhoods will reap what they deserve. If Jackson can't generate fresh commercial development, it will become more of a hellhole, & all those prissy f---s will have moved out of Hinds anyway."
August 27, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Jackson's problems have little to do with a lack of "fresh commercial development". Jackson's problems stem from a shortage of the "prissy f---s" you think will be "moving out of Hinds anyway", and a gross overabundance of certain other sorts of people.

Eastover anchors the rest of the tiny slivers of Jackson which remain viable. Anything which might degrade Eastover endangers what little chance we have, of Jackson's NOT becoming another vast wasteland like Detroit, Gary, or Camden.

What you may not realize is that people disgusted with Jackson may move a bit farther than just to Madison. They frequently end up in the Madison that's in Wisconsin - or some other, similar town, in another region. We frequently lose our best and brightest, forever, to other states in other regions. When you risk destroying Eastover, you risk accelerating that trend.

In any event, there is already more than enough underutilized or vacant commercial property along the frontage roads, to build TEN 'Costco' megastores.

In the meantime, Jacksonians are hardly perishing from a shortage of cheap places to shop. And if Jacksonians were such great customers, then big box retailers would not be so desperate to FLEE from them.

Anonymous said...

Has anybody factored in the fact that Costco customers penny-pinch and the 8% sales tax would be an issue? Also, traffic is already a major problem in front of this parcel. It's hell to get through the light at the interstate. Add the traffic at the new frontage road development and Lakeland is going to become a parking lot.

Like Where? said...

"We need zoning that makes sense and keeps us a city with nice neighborhoods."

Say What?

Like Where? said...

"We need zoning that makes sense and keeps us a city with nice neighborhoods."

Say What?

Anonymous said...

The problem with building on a poorly designed landfill:

settling...if you think the Yazoo clay is bad, look at what smith wills parking lot is.

Environmental...there is no telling what chemicals are in the frond, trapped beneath the parking lot

Methane...generated by decomposing waste, it is why the ball fields in Gulfport were shut down. You know, the ones built atop a former landfill. Too many kids were exposed.

Environmental, part 2....because of the presence of potential historic contamination, operations like fuel sales will, or should be, restricted. Benzene spills and leaking USTs will only expose these problems causing costco , city, or state to spend millions to clean up to US EPA standards.

Anyway, if it were me...I'd avoid the area like a vampire avoids daylight.

Anonymous said...

I made the comment at 12:27 above. I stand by my critique of the city's strategy, my opposition to the proposed re-zoning, and my disappointment with Mayor Yarber. However, near the end of my comment, I stated that "the public is right to be suspicious of what's being passed under the table." In hindsight, I should not have lightly suggested such corruption in the Yarber administration, as I do not believe such phrases should be tossed around without strong reason to do so. Again though, I stand by the rest of my critique of the city and my approval of the zoning board in the matter at hand.

Anonymous said...

Why can't the put Costco on County Line Rd where big box space is abundant?

Is Academy moving out of County Line?

How about the Sams space?

County Line seems to be going downhill. But if they are considering Jackson at all, County Line should be OK.

Anonymous said...

Like where?

Doesn't surprise me that you don't get invited to the nice neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

The mayor, in his statement after the meeting, is still skirting the real issues here. I don't know how the legal process works on zoning, but to pretend it has nothing to do with land usage is ridiculous. The very terms in zoning include "mixed-use," commercial "use," etc. The city needed to make a case that the zoning needed to be changed. They failed to show that the community had changed enough to warrant re-zoning, and the zoning board voted them down. Furthermore, if the mayor wanted to make a case to the public that the land should be zoned "mixed-use" (although I'm unsure how he intends to do that since he claims usage has nothing to do with zoning), perhaps he should have quelled the Costco rumors and said what the city actually intended to do with the land. As a member of the public who has been following this, I now have no idea. I, as well as the press, thought a Costco was in the works, now the mayor says it was actually a "live-work" community. No one should wonder why I distrust the city on this matter.

Anonymous said...

I live in NE Jxn and want Costco located there. Jackson needs the tax dollars, jobs, and a major retailer choosing Jackson. Others may potentially follow it - they certainly won't if this deal doesn't happen.

The mayor needs to go back to the drawing board on this site. His team obviously failed miserably with how they handled this entire deal, but it is not dead yet. they can still save it.

Again, we need more tax dollars being paid into the city of Jackson.

Anonymous said...

9:13, Zoning is 90% about Land use. This bunch must be watched very closely.Either he does not know what these terms mean or there is something really bad going on..

Anonymous said...

9:30 Yes ,Jackson does need business growth but in the correct area. That is what economic development, planning and zoning is all about.This city has much very good land that is set aside for commercial land use. Planning board made right call on this.

Anonymous said...

"Yes there was a landfill there - but seems that they ly were able to figure out a way to build a baseball stadium, a museum and an office building on the site. Bet they could design a Costco also. "

Back when my son's team played at Smith Wills we noticed something unusual in the outfield. There was a small piece of a black plastic bag sticking up from the ground. When we explored it we found it was part of a big Hefty trash bag poking up through the intersection of four sheets of Astroturf. We pushed it back down and tried to tamp down the Astroturf. A few feet away I saw a white, curved object. Thinking it was trash I tried to pick it up. It turned out to be the handle of a mug sticking up through a seam between two sheets of Astroturf. It bore the insignia of some government program for kids run by the governor's office, but it didn't say which governor, so I don't know when it was buried there.

That trash is still there, underneath and very close to the Astroturf.

BTW, I don't know shy my comment yesterday was killed, but I also think the soon to be vacated Sam's site on County Line Road would be ideal for a Costco's, although neither might want to be located that close to each other and compete for the same market.

Anonymous said...

I thought Yarber said during one of his debates that Hwy. 80 should look better than Lakeland Drive. So why is he running there?

Anonymous said...

Long ago when the Mets were still here you could put a cigarette lighter to the grass in the outfield and the methane seeping out of the ground would ignite.

Anonymous said...

No sir, no sir. RadioKingfish you said that you personally disagreed with SOS/attorney Hosemann's interpretation of the reversion trigger. You briefly mentioned your mixed feelings but then went on at length in a highly supportive way of Yarber's actions.

Anonymous said...

I think a fair question is whether a Costco is even still interested in Jackson at all. First, the story goes that Smith-Wills will be demolished for a Costco, then the story from the mayor is that a Costco can be built without demolishing Smith-Wills, then at the zoning meeting the city tries to convince everyone that the proposed re-zoned land can still be used for parks, then the mayor after the meeting is advocating building a live-work community. Is Costco still in the picture, and if not, why the urgent need to go up against both the state and the zoning board's decisions? Who exactly wants to buy the land, and what do they want to do with it? And how many other parks and public lands around the city are going to be put up for sale? I understand that Jackson needs development, but a little openness from the mayor's office would be much appreciated by this voter.

Anonymous said...

That site is perfect for Costco---close enough to Madison and Rankin counties. If they go to Rankin, a lot of Madison County people will not abandon their new Sams Club, leaving Costco to scrap it out with Sams in Pearl.

A Jackson based Costco will enable both Rankin and Madison consumers to easily drive there. That's why their corporate isnt so excited by a Rankin location.

I know real estate said...

Ditch the Sam's site talk. That building is too small even for Sam's. Go to the one in Pearl and see their new footprint. And even if it was big enough it is beyond repair and would have to be knocked down and there simply isn't enough land to build the current store size. Parking is already inadequate. Roads leading into it are jammed. The I-55/County Line road intersection is beyond capacity. Costco isn't Whole Foods with moderate traffic. Why would Costco take a site Sam's is abandoning? I also agree with the comment on the extra penny sales tax. It's a killer for this type business. Some of you need to put the cap back on the bottle.

Pittpanther said...

Everyone should read what 12:27am wrote above. Most of his points are spot on.

But a key point is that Yarber should know you never take an issue to a committee unless you already know the outcome. He went into the season not knowing what was going to happen, our that he might lose? That is bush league politics at its worst.

But this is the guy most of you wanted. What are we now, three months into his administration and Yarber has already proven to be incompetent and secretive. Jackson deserved someone with more vision and insight, instead we got a bumbling country bumpkin.

I ♥ Ladd said...

I don't understand why all the concern? We now have Whole Foods, with its 5 aisles of arugula and craft beer, and the charging station for electric cars in the parking lot. It is single-handedly saving the city!

The other day I went in there and bought some tofu and Brazil nuts and spent $80. I'm so proud that my money is going into the Jackson economy!

I remember reading on this site that home values increased 16% within a five mile radius of a new Whole Foods. I priced a house on Chastain Drive the other day and it had indeed increased up to $74,000 (including the burglar bars)!

Thanks, Whole Foods! And remember, Keep Fondren Funky!!!

Anonymous said...

Jackson deserved someone with more vision and insight ...

But it sure as hell wasn't Chuckie Jr. and his dad's co-op coterie of city payroll leeches like Kali Akuno.

Anonymous said...

"Jackson deserved someone with more vision and insight,"

True, but there wasn't one running.

Anonymous said...

I've not lost any confidence in Yarber on this issue. It's just politics, folks, and it isn't pretty, clean or simple. Costco needs to find a better site...this corner ain't it.

Pittpanther said...

3:22pm, Costco doesn't "need" to do anything. That spot may very well be the best location in the area. Centrally located, convenient to major highway, fronting on a highly traveled street. Sam's had to build two locations, because up north won't draw from south and east. Same for Best Buy. I don't think Costco is interested in building two places.

The Flowood locations don't sound as attractive, won't pull from Madison, and can't sell liquor. Jackson needs to do whatever we can to pull this off, and if we fail, it's on Yarber's head. Fair or not.

Anonymous said...

Re comments on Hiz Honor---I think it is brilliant to bring this issue to the public REGARDLESS of votes and politics!!!! This is an issue that needs PROMPT attention rather than the mindless BS "chicken fightin" that substitutes for due process in Chimneyville!!!

Anonymous said...

If the mayor had brought the issue straightforwardly to the public, the issue could be straightforwardly debated. As I've stated before (comment at 11:43 a.m.), the city's tactics and story have taken several twists and turns. Unless there have been updates this evening, I'm still unsure what the city intends to do with the land being debated for re-zoning and who, specifically, wants to develop it. The public has a right to find out why it is so urgent that public lands are given up, that the wishes of the state are ignored and that the zoning board is disregarded. The city needs to be careful giving up public lands and parks. True, the city desperately needs development, and I want the city to grow. But if the city does grow, we may one day find that we need parks and public lands once again. I am opposed to developing the Smith-Wills area as commercial or a live-work community, but I recognize I am fallible. What has made me much more hardened against the proposals is that the city seems to have been less than forthcoming about what they intend to re-zone and why. I don't want to see the city's parks given up lightly, and I don't like feeling that I'm being strung along by the city.

Anonymous said...

Until the crime issue is addressed in Jackson, all other current and future buisiness endeavours will fail. Sorry, that is how it is.

Haters Humor Me said...

Thanks for your insight 9:02. Tell that to the investors and tenants at the $150MM District at Eastover. Or the 7 $1.5 to $4MM homes being built near there. Go enjoy a strip center or a cookie cutter boring life, while we enjoy a real city.

Anonymous said...

Hey 9:01. Fondren Business District is 100% leased. Eat your heart out.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Nimrod @ 1:38, there is NO 9:01.

ROFLMFAO said...

Hey Nimrod at 4:08. I know that. Just trying to get a rise outa you. It worked.

Anonymous said...

"Hey, Nimrod @ 1:38, there is NO 9:01."
August 29, 2014 at 4:07 PM

I'm guessing that there's something else totally wrong in the 1:38 post.

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