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County OKs Rezoning … After A Public Hearing

By Mike Barnhardt
Enterprise Record

County commissioners couldn’t wait to rezone 4 acres on Deadmon Road earlier this month.
Commissioner Carl Humphrey made a motion to approve the rezoning from residential-agricultural to highway-business. The problem was – the public hearing had yet to be held.
In the end, the board unanimously approved the request from Joe Crotts, owner of Joe’s Tow. It had unanimously been recommended for approval by the county’s planning board.
County Planner Andrew Meadwell said the issue arose when his office received a complaint about a new business operating from the site without proper zoning. No one spoke against the request at the planning board or county commission meetings.
He said Crotts was cooperative throughout the process, and asked what he needed to do to come into compliance.
The property is owned by Crotts’ father, Benjamin, and a similar business has been operated there since 1990, Meadwell said.
He said that although a business is being operated on the property, the board needed to consider all possible uses in the highway business zoning designation. The land is surrounded by single family homes and agricultural uses, but has several metal buildings.
“Staff finds that the proposed rezoning is not compatible with much of the zoning in the surrounding area, however does find that the applicants’ proposed use of the property to be reasonable and compatible as it has been in existence in some form since approximately 1990,” Meadwell wrote for commissioners in their agenda packets. “The request isn’t completely compatible with the Land Development Plan as it classifies the area as rural residential or the Growth Enhancement Strategy as it defines the area as a rural growth zone. However, the use does meet some of the policies stated in those plans.”
Crotts said he just hopes to continue operating his business, and that his family has owned it for many years.
Two people spoke at the public hearing.
James Knowles questioned whether it would be wise to grant the request because the property …