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Tuesdays meeting does have some fireworks
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Tuesday’s special called session of the McMinnville Board of Mayor and Aldermen held no hint of the lawsuit currently being negotiated between the city of McMinnville and Warren County government. However, it wasn’t without heat between board members.
The session was called to have the final readings of two ordinances — one to amend the city’s employee policy and one to rezone property on Moffitt Street from residential to commercial for Waymon Hale.
The employee policy passed without discussion. However, prior to the vote on rezoning, Alderman Jimmy Haley voiced his disapproval.
“Every time rezoning from residential to commercial comes before the board, I vote against it,” Haley said. “I would like to explain why that is.”
Haley says the city has commercial property not being used and some deteriorating commercial buildings in need of renovation. Instead of using those, residential properties are being rezoned to commercial properties.
“If commercial space is needed, select one of the properties we already have,” he added. “With each rezoning, commercial is encroaching upon residential.”
Commercial is putting the squeeze on residential areas and pushing homeowners out of the city, says Haley.
“I know individuals who would like to live inside the city,” he said. “However, they are in fear of purchasing a home and having a commercial business being placed right beside them so they live outside the city.”
Vice Mayor Everett Brock pointed out two problems with Haley’s statement.
“First of all, Jimmy, Waymon owns this property. He asked for rezoning and none of the property owners had a problem with rezoning,” Brock said.
Prior to the board meeting and the discussion, a public hearing was held to hear comments regarding rezoning. No Moffitt Street residents, or anyone else, attended.
“Second, you keep voting against annexation that would bring undeveloped property into the city,” Brock added. “Commercial has no choice but to expand into residential, if they want to be in the city.”
Rezoning on Moffitt Street passed 5-1, with Mayor Norman Rone as well as Aldermen Billy Wood, Clair Cochran, Junior Medley and Brock voting in favor of it, and Haley voting against it.