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Marshall P&Z Commission recommends one rezoning request be granted, one be denied

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This map shows the location of an eight-acre tract of land that Marshall-Saline Development Corporation is asking the city of Marshall to rezone from agricultural to IH, heavy industrial, which would make it consistent with the rest of the Marshall Industrial Park.
(Contributed image)
The Marshall Planning and Zoning Commission held public hearings Tuesday, Aug. 10, for two rezoning requests, one from Marshall-Saline Development Corporation and one from Scott Miller.

No members of the public were present, but MSDC Director Roy Hunter briefly reviewed the reason for the request to rezone an eight-acre tract on the west side of North Miami Avenue north of Prairie View School and south of the MFA facility.

He said when the city's industrial park was developed the whole thing was intended to be zoned IH, heavy industrial, but the tract on North Miami Avenue was overlooked.

"We just caught it recently" with help from city Code Official Mike Morgan, Hunter said. "We thought we better get it corrected."

Following the public hearings, the commission voted 5-1 to recommend the zoning change to the city council. Gabe Ramsey voted against the motion.

The request by Scott Miller to rezone a one-acre tract from agricultural to IL, light industrial, generated more discussion than the MSDC request.

This map shows a small tract of land at the southern tip of Marshall that businessman Scott Miller is asking the city to rezone from agricultural to IL, light industrial.
(Contributed image)
Miller's pallet renovation business is located at the southern tip of the city where Business 65 splits from U.S. Highway 65, partially in and partially outside the city limits. The part that is inside the city is zoned agricultural and is currently used to park truck trailers that are used to haul pallets.

The trailers, however, do not conform to what's allowed within an agricultural zone, according to city officials.

Miller said he was informed when he started doing business at that site two years ago that the trailer parking lot would be OK.

Morgan disagreed with Miller's account of past conversations.

"It wasn't OK then and it's not OK now," he said. He noted that the reason a member of his department visited the business site earlier was to determine whether the building was in the city limits, and it is not. The parking lot, however, is within the city.

Morgan said he wasn't directly involved in the discussion with Miller when the business was getting started.

"When it was discovered there were trailers on it, that's what prompted the rezoning request," Morgan said.

Miller said if he'd known when he started that there was going to be a problem, he would have requested the zoning change then.

He also asked the commission to explain what difference the zoning designations make from a practical perspective, noting that grain trailers and wagons could be parked on land zoned agricultural.

Commission member Rebecca Stevens said the zoning law specifies that equipment used on land zoned agricultural has to be used for agricultural purposes and that the commission has an obligation to enforce the law.

She also noted -- and commission member Norvelle Brown agreed --that she thinks trailers parked in such a prominent spot at one of Marshall's main entrances are not the best image for the city to present.

"I know where I'm at. I know everybody sees it," Miller said. "I'm trying to keep it in nice, decent shape."

Stevens asked whether the trailers could be moved to another part of the land, but Miller said he only has three acres to work with and doesn't have any other good options.

The commission voted 5-0 to recommend the city council deny Miller's rezoning request. Chairman Steve Mills abstained, citing past business relationship with Miller.

In addition to Brown, Mills, Ramsey and Stevens, commission members Connie Latimer and Brad Pistel were present.

The two rezoing requests will be the subject of a city council public hearing Tuesday, Sept. 7, prior to the regular council meeting. The council meets at 5:15 p.m. in the council chambers of the City Office Building, 214 N. Lafayette Ave.

The next regular meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, in council chambers at the City Office Building.

Contact Eric Crump at ecrump@marshallnews.com


Related story:
Marshall P&Z Commission hears 2 rezoning requests:

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The public hearing will be held on Sept. 20.

-- Posted by Sissy_Grama on Fri, Aug 20, 2010, at 4:46 PM

Got to love small towns with their cronyism practices. The supposed 'worry' about a business that might come IF Mr Miller were to leave Marshall or end his business is not a valid concern really. IF the property where the parking lot is really is in city limits they can enforce code violations for property being too trashy.

AND the whole argument about the area being zoned for Agriculture really is a moot point since the remaing land on south of Drake Road is

"for sale, willing to parcel into small tracts"

So the logic behind NOT changing to where Mr Miller can utilize his property with a zone changes fails. It is all about a few having control over ther rest of us... sounds like Mini DC

-- Posted by mrxray on Sun, Aug 15, 2010, at 5:31 PM

Sorry eric you are right about the land, its banks land they are considering, but this parcel came off of old banks land and it borders it. My mistake

-- Posted by drop555 on Sun, Aug 15, 2010, at 5:07 PM

Aren't those pallets used for agra businesses? Thus, the trailors used are for an agribusiness as well? Just a thought!

-- Posted by litlmissme on Sat, Aug 14, 2010, at 1:29 PM

They allowed the MSCDC's request even though they had been out of compliance for ten years with the UP railroad building... Should have been some fines or something along time ago if Inspector Morgan was on his toes...To disallow this person is just telling you that The city council and Mr Morgan do as they are told by the money in town, as one person said the country club. But also remember this land is on the schools list of possible sites if ever approved by voters to build. And think about this, agriculture land allows all kinds of chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers that are way more dangerous than pallets. Just a small group pushing their power around to benefit no one and harrass someone trying to make a living.

-- Posted by drop555 on Thu, Aug 12, 2010, at 9:53 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
I don't believe Mr. Miller's property has been considered by the school district as a building site. Land to the north of it has.

Yes, as if his business weren't bad enough, another one could move in and futher blight the area immediately south of the Country Club.

That's what its all about folks. His proximity to the country club and yes, it is a bunch of elitist hogwash.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Aug 12, 2010, at 11:55 AM

I need for someone from the City of Marshall to explain to me what the problem is. I drove by this site several times, I see nothing wrong. We have a person who pays his taxes and is trying to earn an honest living and wants to be a part of Marshall. ConAg has a lot where they park their trucks,and thats in the heart of the City of Marshall, will the city make them move their trucks? He is not bothering anyone.

-- Posted by pennypincher1 on Thu, Aug 12, 2010, at 7:26 AM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
Commission members said at the meeting that land zoned agricultural can only be used for agricultural purposes, and trailers used for hauling pallets don't qualify. They said they worry about future uses, not just Mr. Miller's operation. If they rezone, and he leaves at some point, another business could move in that doesn't keep the area as well-tended as he does. Mr. Miller assured the commission that he has no plans to leave and will continue to maintain the area well.



-- Posted by Sissy_Grama on Wed, Aug 11, 2010, at 5:50 PM

Hey Scott,

There's an acre for sale in Gilliam. Easy access to highway, both in, and out. Come on over! Tell Marshall "Good-bye"!

-- Posted by ieatsuperglue on Wed, Aug 11, 2010, at 5:10 PM

Show up at the public hearing on sep 7 and voice these opinions. That is the only way to override p&z and even then it is not a certainty. That is when you vote out the council if they don't listen.

-- Posted by countyliving on Wed, Aug 11, 2010, at 5:06 PM

I agree with you Low... Miller has had this business for 7 years... They won't leave him alone. Workingmom they want to keep control over what comes in here if he was to sell it..

-- Posted by Sissy_Grama on Wed, Aug 11, 2010, at 1:07 PM

Don't forget that WE have allowed these people to run our city/county....the vote is more powerful than complaining on here....JMHO

-- Posted by Dave in MidMO on Wed, Aug 11, 2010, at 12:59 PM

what is the benefit of not re-zoning this property to help the business owner-- is there a benefit to it being zoned as it is now-- what is the difference in semi trailers for corn being allowed to sit there or semi trailers for pallets-- get real-- is this really what our tax dollars go for-- how 'bout this....why doesn't the owner plant 3 rows of corn and say his semi's are to haul it ....LOL what a waste of time... my whole point is WHY NOT REZONE IT--- Eric could you ask them the benefit of not rezoning it

-- Posted by workingmom on Wed, Aug 11, 2010, at 12:30 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
Commissioners said during the meeting that they are not only concerned about Mr. Miller's operation but about any future business that might be able to use the IL zoning that might be even less acceptable. Here's a list of possible uses for IL zones:


Oh my goodness, seriously??? I would think that Marshall would welcome any business, if the area is maintained, then let it be. This just shows the ongoing arrogance of a few wanna be big shots in this town. It disgusts me every time I go back to Marshall to visit and see it continously drying up, so why don't you focus your energy on rebuilding instead of bullying someone who is actually trying to build a business.

-- Posted by onceproud on Wed, Aug 11, 2010, at 11:35 AM

You see when it was for the MSDC and for no specific purpose it was passed. Can anyone remember the last time MSDC actually brought a business that created good jobs into this town? But when it would benefit a small business owner, who is already doing business which creates revenue that could be spent in town, the City has to create problems. What is this man to do now...move his business to a town that is more business friendly? For heaven sake, its one acre of land on the edge of town and it hasn't been an issue up and until this point??!! This is a crock! The City should rezone this property for this man so he can continue to do the same business he has been doing for 2 years without a problem.

Oh, and I agree with others...the Plaza is an eyesore and nobody is bugging the not-local owners of that property to fix it up, but someone who is a local who needs a little cooperation from the City can't get it. That just doesn't make sense to me!

-- Posted by Typesetter on Wed, Aug 11, 2010, at 10:58 AM

This is just plain silliness (or stubbornness) on the part of the city. There is nothing to be harmed in changing that parcel of land to help the business owner. The owner says he was told it would be no problem, the code official says he doesn't remember the conversation. One is correct and one is mistaken, but how can it be proved which is which?

And I agree...as for the image of the city, that small area is nowhere near the blight that the Plaza is.

-- Posted by outsider on Wed, Aug 11, 2010, at 9:57 AM

Well Mr Miller welcome to doing business in Marshall, YOU CAN BET YOUR LAST DOLLAR THAT IF IT WAS CONAGRA IT WOULD HAVE BEEN REZONED!!!!

B_smith_09 your right the Plaza and the building that Hustlers is in along with the dump of a hotel next door to the liquor store are eye sores.

I really think the powers that be in this 1 horse town dont want any new business that way they dont have to pay better wages because there is some place else in town for people to get a job.

Hell the only reason they have not tried to run the kids out that have the liquor store is a bunch of the powers that be are their best customers!

-- Posted by Gal66 on Wed, Aug 11, 2010, at 7:35 AM


-- Posted by Sissy_Grama on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 11:16 PM

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