Zoning Confusion Brought to Reform Council


During the last couple of city council meetings, Reform city council members have had zoning issues brought to their attention. One of them, brought to the council on May 15, was from Dearl Hughes, who wanted to rezone a strip of land currently zoned as residential, but having commercial properties on either side of it.

Hughes brought the owners of the property, Barbara and James Chain, who had previously been leasing mobile homes on the site. Chain now wants the trailers razed and the property zoned to commercial, under the guidance of Hughes. A prospective buyer was discussed as having interest in putting a business on the property.

“We’re trying to get that property up there between Fred’s and the Ashmore’s, on the right side of the road where them two old trailers is sitting. Without it being commercial, I can’t do nothing with it,” said Hughes.

Hughes stated he had been in contact with Curt Allen, a “man in Kansas City with O’Reilly’s Auto Parts,” who was interested in the property. When Hughes approached the Zoning Board, the chairwoman explained the property was on the wrong street and was zoned residential. Hughes was perplexed as the nursing home there is commercial and the next lot up belongs to William Ashmore and is commercial. “The only spot between the two is this spot of Ms. Chain,” said Hughes.

Hughes mention several business opportunities he had approached about the lot but, had no written intent from any company. Some names mentioned by Hughes were a Veterans Administration (VA) home, Waffle House, and O’Reilly’s Auto Parts.

The council reviewed the zoning map and verified that particular lot was zoned as a R-2. A zone with a R-2 designation is a single residence with a variance. B-1 is commercial zoning and M-1 and M-2 are both industry zones. After the review, Councilwoman Pat Wheat told Hughes to let the council think about it.

“Well, what y’all got to think about?” Hughes asked.

“We’ve got to think about whether or not we’re going to rezone it for you,” answered Wheat.

“Why not y’all figure y’all’s heads together and do it pretty quick cause it’s been five months trying to do one thing on a three-acre lot. I’m just being as straight as I can be with you and don’t give a (expletive) what y’all say,” Hughes remarked.

The council remained courteous and Wheat told Hughes the council needed time to make up their minds. “When we have a council meeting,” she explained, “we don’t make any big decisions just off the top of our head. We’ve got a zoning board. We have an attorney (to consult).”

See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.
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