Thursday, February 18, 2016

Committee approves proposal to post zoning apps online.

Jackson residents may no longer have to file a public records request, wait fourteen business days, and pay copying fees if they just want to read a re-zoning request.   The Planning Committee of the Jackson City Council unanimously approved a proposal by Ward 1 Councilman Ashby Foote to place zoning applications as submitted  on the city website.

Complaints about obtaining copies of zoning applications arose last year during the debate over the proposed re-zoning of the old Colonial Country Club site.  Several neighbors of the property tried to find out what was proposed but were told by Zoning Administrator Esther Ainsworth they had to file a public records request.  The city could take up to fourteen business days to respond to the request and also charged fees.  The city is legally required to post notice of a public hearing for a zoning request 15 calendar days prior to the hearing.  Thus the city can provide the records after the hearing even if the request is filed immediately when the notice is posted.  Business days >calendar days.



Ms. Ainsworth opposed posting the completed zoning applications online.  She said in previous committee meetings that she only favored posting the first page of the application and the declaration page online.  The typical application contains maps, traffic engineering reports, and contact information for the person submitting the application.  Oddly enough, all such documents are included in the printed records provided to the public records request that Ms. Ainsworth so favors.    Such is Jackson logic.   However, Ms. Ainsworth was not present at the meeting.  Councilmen Ashby Foote, Tyrone Hendrix, and DeKeither Stamps all voted for the proposed ordinance.  The ordinance will now require passage by the full City Council before it becomes law.

Kingfish note: This is a good idea.  Few things fire up voters as does a zoning problem.  Neighborhoods will have meetings at 4:00 AM, create dozens of Facebook pages, and generally go on the warpath.  Making citizens wait two to three weeks to obtain a copy of a zoning application just adds fuel to the fire.  They often cannot see a copy of the agenda until the day of the meeting, which adds to their irritation.  This proposal will remove some of the frustration people endure when dealing with city hall.  They don't care if it's the zoning department, Mayor, or the City Council.  They just know they come down to City Hall and can't get any information on something affecting their neighborhood.   It is all the same to them as government is government.

A copy of a completed zoning application is posted below.  Esther Ainsworth charged over $80 for the 60 page application. 


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

First it was UBER, now this, I smell a rat.

Anonymous said...

Forget this. Did the resolution to rename Flag Chapel Road to The Honorable Gracious Most Excellent President Barack Hussein Obama Boulevard pass?

Anonymous said...

Required a public record request on a desire to learn about a zoning change is against the spirit of the law that requires a public involvement process. I could see a good court throwing out many past zoning actions of the City but there is no such thing as a good court in Hinds county.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
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