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.
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.
Marshall P&Z Commission hears 2 rezoning requests: