Board hears updates on ongoing projects

Published 6:18 pm Wednesday, May 5, 2010

As Brookhaven continues to grow, zoning and adjustments issuescontinue to come to the forefront as businesses move in and set upshop.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the board addressed a tobacco storeon Highway 51 that had begun building with no permit and didn’tmeet setback requirements several months ago. The aldermen hadgranted a variance and doubled the permit fee since the businessdidn’t meet protocols from the beginning.

Also, 51 Discount Tobacco owner Teresa Calloway had applied fora permit to sell packaged beer. In order to do so, she had to havethe written consent of 80 percent of the adults who inhabitproperty adjacent to the store property.

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After some discussion regarding a homeowner who no longer livesin the house near the property, as well as a concrete plant thatneeds a signature from authorities in Jackson, the board informedCalloway that the store is not yet qualified to sell beer.

Later in the meeting, Ward Six Alderman David Phillips pointedout that the fees are still not paid on the permit for thebuilding.

“I say we give them 30 more days to complete the project and ifnot, they either have to move the building or tear it down,”Phillips said. “They need to file the permit and have a site plan,get the project complete. They haven’t lived up to thatobligation.”

City Building Inspector Chip Gennaro said he and City AttorneyJoe Fernald will collaborate on a letter to the business ownersabout completing their obligations on the building.

In other appearances, Williford Gearhart & Knight’s MikeMcKenzie spoke to the board to inform them on the progress of twoprojects.

McKenzie told the board that the Old Brook Sewer project plansare finished and the Department of Environmental Quality isreviewing them currently. Officials are working to obtain theeasements needed to get the project under way, but McKenzie said sofar only 12 out of 60 that are needed have come in.

“There are several out of state that we’ve mailed off,” he said.”At this point, we’re thinking it will be August before we have theeasements wrapped up, and that’s with a grain of optimism.”

McKenzie said the easement situation could be one of the tougherparts of the project.

“These can turn into an outright nightmare,” he said. “But we’lljust deal with it as it comes.”

In addition, McKenzie said steps have been made toward thecompletion of the downtown lighting project that would put moreelectrical outlets in Railroad Park. Some kinks have been workedout and it will be submitted to Rural Development next week. Hesaid the project could hopefully be complete before the Ole BrookFestival.

An appearance was also made by Glenn Duke, who sellsprefabricated buildings, and came to the board to further clarifywhat the city’s specifications are on where they can be put andwhere they cannot.

Duke had recently sold a building to a couple who at firstintended to use it as storage, but then decided to use it as adwelling. To put the building in the place they had planned wouldnot meet city requirements, and at the moment, the couple doesn’tseem to have another place to put it, he said.

“I’m not going to sell them something they have no use for,”Duke said.