Churches block scrap business growth on Falk Steel

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 4, 2008

About a dozen members of two churches in the Falk Steel Road area were successful in convincing the Vicksburg Zoning Board of Appeals to reject a local businessman’s request to store scrap metal and other recyclables at 330 Falk Steel Road.

Robert Keyes, who owns and operates Keyes Recycling on U.S. 61 North, said scrap metal has been stored at the property on Falk Steel Road since the 1950s. He said he did not plan to operate any machinery on the property and was only asking to store additional materials on site.

“It’s real simple. I’m just asking to store scrap metal there,” he said in the Tuesday hearing. “It doesn’t make any noise. The business is not open to the public. I’ve been managing the property since 1989 or 1990 and no one has ever complained about the scrap on the property.”  

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Ben Luckett, who represented members of Northside Baptist Church, said scrap piling up on the property causes an eyesore and there is noise from trucks that would have to transport the scrap metal to and from the property.

Byron Maxwell, pastor of Cool Spring M.B. Church on U.S. 61 North, also spoke against Keyes’ request for a special exception.

“You start out being a storage facility, and two years, three years, five years from now they want to crush metal on site,” Maxwell said. “If it was going to stay as just a storage area I really wouldn’t be opposed.”

Keyes reiterated his intention is strictly to store scrap materials on the site, but the board ultimately voted 4-0 to deny his request. He has 10 days to file an appeal with the city clerk to take the issue before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Board members present at Tuesday’s meeting were Tim Fagerburg, Fred Katzenmeyer, Tommy Rawlings and Warren Jones.

On the agenda

On Tuesday, Vicksburg Zoning Board of Appeals:

• Approved a special exception for Triumph M.B. Church to have a building to warehouse food and clothing at 74 Scenic Drive.

• Approved a special exception to Memphis-based Mid-South Signs to allow two ground-mounted signs to be placed at 2408 Pemberton Blvd. The signs will be for the new Kroger store being built.

• Tabled a request by Betty W. Bullard for a variance to the front yard setback requirements from 25 feet to 10 feet for the purpose of constructing single family free-standing units on Oak Street. Bullard, who last week pulled her name from consideration for serving on the zoning board of appeals, did not attend the meeting to present her case. Matthew Williams Jr. attended the meeting to oppose Bullard’s request, which the board said it will take up at next month’s meeting on Oct. 7.