Valley votes to repeal ordinance

Published 7:37 am Wednesday, August 11, 2021

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VALLEY — The Valley City Council on Monday held a second reading to repeal an ordinance that had been adopted in 2007. An ordinance to repeal was approved in a 6-2 vote.

The 2007 ordinance adopted developmental design standards for the development of the Fob James Drive corridor. At the time, growth was anticipated given the announcement Kia was coming to nearby West Point. Major growth has not materialized, but there are still more than 20 businesses along Fob James Drive.

“At the time, these standards were considered to be needed to control and manage the development of the area,” the repeal of the ordinance reads. “However, since that time, the enforcement of the ordinance has been inconsistent, and the council feels these restrictions should be eliminated, sufficient controls for development being in place through the city’s existing zoning ordinances.”

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“There was a lot of effort and time spent on this,” said Council Member Jim Jones, who opposed action to repeal. “Why do away with it in its entirety? Why not maintain some controls?”

Jones asked Planning & Development Director Travis Carter why the ordinance was adopted in the first place.

“To prevent uncontrolled growth along Fob James Drive, something like what has happened on portions of Highway 29,” Carter said.

Carter added that the existing businesses on Fob James Drive were never in compliance with the 2007 ordinance.

“The regulations are very restrictive,” he said.

Design standards, said Jones, could create a homogeneous look along Fob James Drive. “What’s wrong with that?” he asked. “Do we have to wipe it out completely?”

Carter said the ordinance requires sidewalks in front of all buildings along Fob James Drive. That’s something that has not taken place.

Carter said some businesses could get their way with the design review board while others would not.

The issue was then put to a vote and was approved 6-2. Voting to repeal the 2007 ordinance were Mayor Leonard Riley and council members Jim Clark, Randall Maddux, Marquetta Madden, Henry Cooper, and Kendall Andrews. Voting no were Jones and Jimmy Gilson.

In a unanimous vote, the council approved a resolution to purchase property along Fob James Drive near the Waffle House and the Quality Inn. The land is not currently in the city limits but will be annexed once the city owns the property.

The 3.85-acre site is being purchased from Robert Vineski for $165,000.

In other action Monday, the council approved resolutions to determine public nuisances at two locations in the city and to authorize action to clean up the sites. One site is located at 2310 38th Boulevard and the other is at 2967 55th Street. Code Enforcement Officer Reid Riley discussed what actions had been taken by the city up to this point. He said the city had been having problems with the 38th Boulevard site in Shawmut for some time. The site was condemned in July of last year.

“We have given the owners plenty of time to do something about it,” he said.

To compound the matter, the abandoned house was partly damaged by a recent fire. A resolution approved by the council authorizes the code enforcement officer to take action to see that the house is torn down, removed from the site and the lot cleaned up.

The 55th Street site has also been a nuisance property for some time. A structure on the property was torn down and removed several years ago. The action approved Monday is to remove a second structure on the site. Riley said that residents of the neighborhood had complained that transients had been staying in the abandoned house. The resolution directs the code enforcement officer to see that the structure is demolished and the site cleaned up.