Adjustments & Appeals OKs variance relief for industrial park

Starkville City Hall (courtesy)
Staff Writer

The Starkville Board of Adjustments and Appeals unanimously approved a motion made by Ward 1’s Kim Moreland for variance relief from street width requirements for a proposed industrial park off of Highway 82 and Highway 389 during a public hearing Wednesday afternoon.

The motion made by Moreland and seconded by Board Vice Chairman Marco Nicovich will allow for variance relief for 24-foot road width with curbs and gutters, as opposed to the city code which requires 31-foot wide roads with curbs and gutters to allow for road parking and room for emergency vehicles.

The original request made by Saunders Ramsey on behalf of the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Association requested street width of 24 feet with no curbs or gutters.

"The current code, which you're all familiar with, is a 31-foot wide curb and gutter section, which in a residential setting would allow for on street parking and emergency vehicles to pass," Ramsey said. "In a setting for industrial use, there is no visitation, no on-street stopping, nothing of that nature."

Ramsey said any other road in the state has a 24-foot road width because it is the standard width.

"Their initial variance request was for 24-foot width with no curb and gutter," Moreland said. "We did allow the 24-foot road width because that's standard road width."

During the public hearing, a letter was given to the board on behalf of Laura B. White, Betty Bell and LMK, LLC to object the requested variance for street width and standards made by OCEDA for the industrial park adjacent to their property.

According to the letter, the property owners felt the new industrial park should be held to the same standards as the current OCEDA-managed industrial park, Cornerstone, which has 30-foot wide roads, and the new park should have the same attributes to be able to compete with other locations in the area.

Ward 4’s Robert Camp also said the road in the industrial park should have the curbs and gutter and be held to the same standards as other roads for the industrial park to compete with other locations in the area.

Moreland said the construction of curbs and gutters would not result in any unnecessary hardship, which is required to grant variance.

"We felt like the 24-foot road with curb and gutter was a good compromise for everyone," Moreland said.

Moreland said the curb and gutter on the new road would have proper curb cuts for drainage as needed.

The motion will be carried to the Starkville Board of Aldermen during their meeting Dec. 19.