Biz expansion, rezoning sought

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Yell Road business plans to expand its services and Lewisburg planning commissioners are recommending city councilmen change land- use zoning to accommodate growth.

"They want to build a crematorium," City Planning Commission Chairman Jim Bingham said Thursday about plans filed at City Hall by Bills-McGaugh Funeral Home, 755 Yell Road.

Bills-McGaugh property must be rezoned from a residential classification to a commercial zone so the project may proceed. The land is now zoned for residential use.

"That was an oversight," Bingham said, explaining when the land-use classification error was not realized. "Every once in a while, we review all properties in the city.

"Over the years, that property was overlooked as being zoned wrong," the planning commission chairman said. "It's being recommended to be (zoned as) a funeral home under a commercial zone" classification.

Rezoning land is accomplished through an amendment to the city's zoning ordinance. Changing such laws requires three majority votes by councilmen. The first introduces the subject for consideration. The second offers a second opportunity to change the ordinance to amend city law. A public hearing is required and a third and final vote will accomplish the change, as well as provide another opportunity to amend the proposed ordinance before the final vote. Under normal circumstances, the process takes three months.

Having realized that Bills-McGaugh Funeral Home is in a residential zone, planning commission staffers were asked to examine records to see if there were similar errors.

"We checked to see if London's (Funeral Home, 324 W. Church St.) was properly zoned," Bingham said. "It is."

Also during the planning commissioners' meeting last week, the panelists voted 3-3 on an annexation request.

Grover Collins, proprietor of his real state business on Nashville Highway, and Steve Allen, a member of the Marshall County Election Commission, live on state Route 50, Jim B. McCord Highway, just beyond the city line near the Tiger Market convenience store on that road and Franklin Pike.

Planning commissioners were asked to annex that area into Lewisburg, Bingham said.

Bingham was absent from the commission meeting in City Hall on Tuesday last week and was, therefore, not available to break the tie vote, he said.

Nevertheless, the annexation request is being forwarded to the City Council for its consideration. There's just no recommendation from the commission because of the tie vote.

Regular City Council meetings are held at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the second floor meeting room of City Hall, 131 E. Church St.