City’s zoning board votes against metal recycling plant|[5/03/06]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 3, 2006

After four Vicksburg residents spoke against the construction of a scrap metal recycling yard at 4766 N. Washington St., the Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously voted to deny Tri-Miss Services Inc. a special exception to move there.

&#8220Everything around there is residential,” said Dustin Keyes, who said he lives near the property zoned for heavy industrial.

Robert Keyes also spoke against the planned development at the regular meeting of the Zoning Board. He presented a copy of minutes from a board meeting Oct. 14, 1999, in which he had been denied a special exception to build a scrap metal plant on the same property.

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&#8220City officials advised me I could not open a scrap yard there,” Keyes said.

Ben Lilley, Tri-Miss Services manager, said building a plant at that location would benefit the community.

&#8220We’re the only recycling center in the community,” Lilley said.

He said the business would bring in scrap metal from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Lilley said about four to five 18-wheelers would come to the business each day and large machinery, including forklifts, would be outside as well as inside the business. But, he said, a fence would be built around the property to conceal the machines and scrap metal.

Dustin Keyes said his main concern is the noise.

&#8220I work nights and sleep during the days,” he said. &#8220The only day he’s closed will be my day off.”

Melanie Byrd, who said she lives on Thompson Lake Road just north of the property, said she is concerned about an increase in crime and litter from the plant. She said she has seen people try to steal material from other scrap metal plants and leave their large appliances and other trash in front of the scrap yard.

Board Member Jack Burrell said the public comments were convincing.

&#8220In light of the public outcry, I move the board deny the special exception,” Burrell said.

However, he issued a warning to city residents.

&#8220If you’re living in an industrial area, you may have industrial neighbors whether you like it or not,” he said.

Burrell said that while scrap yards require a special exception to operate in an L-2 zone, saw mills and paint manufacturers are among the types of businesses that are allowed to operate in that zone.

Board Members Tuesday Lindsey, Tim Fagerburg, Mark Corum and Fred Katzenmeyer also voted against the special exception.

Also during the meeting, the board voted to recommend to the City Board of Mayor and Aldermen that the ordinance be amended to allow one permanent structure or manufactured mobile home for on-site permanent residential use by managers of recreational vehicle parks.

Lisa Penninger, owner of Magnolia RV Park, 211 Miller St., told the board she would like to live with her family at the site of her RV park to have quick access to guests in case of emergencies.

&#8220We would have more control over the property,” said Penninger, who bought the park six weeks ago after moving to Vicksburg from Long Beach, Miss. &#8220We would know who’s there and who’s not supposed to be there. It’s important for the safety of tourists.”

The City Board will review the decision of the Zoning Board and decide whether to approve the amendment.

In other business, the board voted to approve an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance that prevents freestanding signs from being placed within five feet of the public right of way, street or sidewalk.

Zoning Administrator Dalton McCarty said the amendment had previously been in the ordinance, but was left out last year when the ordinance was changed.