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Planners won't 'clean up mess' over dollar store

“Next week, they’ll try to sell the park.”

Staff writer

Marion’s planning and zoning commissioners decided Tuesday that the city’s industrial park had become “out of whack” and that they will take no action regarding it.

An area that city council members approved for sale is a section reserved for buffer, drainage, and utility easement.

When the industrial park was platted, the parcel was designated to be controlled by an owners association. Member Darvin Markley pointed out no owners association was formed.

“You’ve got some retail things going on, but it’s supposed to be industrial,” Margo Yates said.

Yates suggested creating an overlay that would allow commercial retail business in the industrial park.

But member Russell Hake disagreed.

“The way to clean it up is to not allow it to happen in the first place,” Hake said.

Chairman Terry Jones said he didn’t want to create an impression that the commission was “trying to shove something through” by taking action at this time.

“That’s not what I stand for,” he said.

Jones said only business in the industrial park fits the description for its use.

“It looks to me like the city council has somewhat superseded us on this,” member Bruce Skiles said. “If they’ve superseded, what are we talking about it?”

But Markley countered: “If the council wants to send us a request, then they should do that. Until that time, we should do nothing.”

Jones questioned the city’s attempt to sell the reserved area of the park for a new dollar store.

“They’re selling a piece of land that technically is not even a piece of land,” Jones said.

He said that since the overall area was zoned as industrial, it wouldn’t have to be rezoned, but the new owners would have to seek a conditional use permit to use it for a different purpose.

Jones asked whether anyone was having thoughts of doing an overlay of the light industrial district to resolve the issue.

“Absolutely not,” Markley said.

Jones noted that Ann’s Park just to the west was in the area zoned light industrial.

“Next week, they’ll try to sell the park,” Markley said.

Jones and Markley agreed that residents of the surrounding neighborhood deserved to be protected.

Jones said the commission needed to figure out what city residents want.

“We need to look at the whole picture before we make any changes out there,” Markley said.

Jones added: “Right now, there’s nothing we can do or should do. If it goes forward, it will come back to us.”

Last modified Sept. 2, 2021

 

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