Vicksburg board denies rezoning for liquor store in Marcus Bottom

Published 12:20 pm Friday, September 23, 2022

There will not be a liquor store at 2600 Halls Ferry Road.

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen Friday voted 3-0 to deny the appeal of businessman Sukhbeer Singh to rezone the property at 2600 Halls Ferry Road from C-1 neighborhood commercial to C-3 central business district to open a part liquor store, part laundromat at the property which is the former site of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Singh initially brought his rezoning request to the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals, which denied the request, forcing his appeal to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, which on Sept. 7 took the appeal under advisement until Friday.

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According to the board’s resolution denying the rezoning, “there was no manifest error in the ordinance, no changed or changing conditions in the area, that change is not reasonably necessary to the promotion of the public health, safety, or general welfare and that the character of the neighborhood has not changed to such an extent to justify reclassification and there is no public need for rezoning of this area.”

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said his opposition to the rezoning was based on two things:
“One, I didn’t want to open the door for spot zoning; two, I didn’t see enough economic impact of this business to the community that warranted us looking at this zone different than what it was already classified.”

Ward 1 Alderman Michael Mayfield said the board had to consider the potential future problems if it allowed spot zoning in Marcus Bottom.

“You have to be very careful when you start changing the zones to meet certain requests because when it’s in certain neighborhoods then you always have to look for the enhancement of the neighborhood,” Mayfield said. “When you start rezoning, you’re opening up a can of worms that you may not be able to close.”

“There are ramifications if you change the zoning in order to bring something in, especially when there’s residential surrounding it within 200 feet,” Ward 2 Alderman Alex Monsour said, adding property owners near the proposed rezoning expressed their opinions about the liquor store.

“While we are very, very business-oriented here in the city of Vicksburg, we want to do everything we can to increase revenue but at the same time, we’ve got to protect the integrity of residential living. This is the best decision we can come up with,” he said.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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