By STEVEN NALLEY
The Starkville Planning and Zoning Commission will hear a final plat approval request for a new phase of Huntington Park and hold a public hearing on repurposing a Whitfield Road commercial building as a place of worship at its meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.
City Planner Ben Griffith said in a planner’s report that the Huntington Park subdivision’s final plat puts four lots on approximately 1.26 acres on the western side of a cul-de-sac. In June 2009, Griffith said in the report, David W. Jackson Construction Inc. platted the four large lots at the end of the cul-de-sac, skipping over eight lots on the cul-de-sac’s sides.
“The applicant is now seeking to plat the four lots on the western side of the street and will plat the remaining four on the eastern side at a future date,” Griffith said in the report. “City staff indicated in 2009 that it was not recommended to ‘skip over’ lots to plat others, since this ‘piecemeal’ approach creates some dilemmas for the City, such as ownership, dedication and acceptance of the roadways.”
The zoning commission resolved this issue in 2009, Griffith said, by leaving ownership of and responsibility for the street in Jackson Construction’s hands until certain conditions are met.
“(When) you’ve got a city street that’s got some of the properties on either side that are not finally platted ... the question is, when does a street become taken over by the city?” Griffith said. “That was resolved three years ago. There was a condition on the plat from 2009 that said when 10 of the 12 lots are developed... then the city would consider it 85 percent built (and take over.)”
David Jackson said he had customers wanting to buy the cul-de-sac’s rear lots at the time, and he skipped the other lots to avoid heavy taxes.
“We don’t record all the lots on the streets in front of them because they get on the tax roll when we do record (them),” Jackson said.
“There’s a drastic increase on a piece of property when it’s recorded and available to sell. The tax is a much higher rate.”
Assistant City Planner Pamela Daniel said in a planner’s report Gregory Mostella and Michelle Mostella, founders of the 30-member Tribe Judah Ministries congregation, want to use property at 730 Whitfield Road as a place of worship. The property sits in a C-2 zoning district, she said in the report, and as of Thursday, the city planning office had received two inquiries about the Mostellas’ request.
“A local businessman called to (inquire) about the use being requested because he, too, had interest in the property,” Daniel said in the report. “The second inquiry was that of an adjacent property owner who feared that the lack of available parking would interfere with his business.”