A rezoning application is facing public outcry in Olive Branch.
DeSoto County Board of Supervisors expressed at their Jan, 3 meeting for the Olive Branch Planning Commission to deny a request to rezone property in the Legacy Park area that would open the door for more warehouses to be built.
The applicant, Jason Weaver of Goodwin and Marshall Incorporated on behalf of property owners L.D. Sanders III and Catalina Sanders, is asking the city to rezone the property on the east side of Polk Lane from PUD (Planned Unit Development) to M-1, or Light Industrial District.
The board voted unanimously at its Jan. 3 meeting to send a letter to Olive Branch Director of Planning and Development Jason Gambone expressing their opposition, arguing that the rezoning would put more truck traffic on Polk Lane Extension and Nail Road Extension and make it less safe for residents.
The property in question in the south tract of a larger parcel proposed for rezoning around 84 acres. It’s located “approximately 3500 ft. south of Highway 302 on the east side of Polk Lane,” according to city officials.
Jason Gambone, director of planning and development for Olive Branch, said the applicant divided the property into two different tracts.
The land was under the county’s control when the original warehouses were built, but was part of the area annexed by Olive Branch.
In the letter from the supervisors, it said that Nail Road and Polk Lane Extension were initially intended for residential and school traffic off of Goodman and Hacks Cross Roads.
The letter said supervisors “did not intend to develop their residential areas into a warehouse district.” The letter also asked Olive Branch city officials to consider their previous commitment to area residents before the annexation.
Another concern was increased freight traffic on Nail Road and potential negative impact of the two proposed buildings being located south of the overhead transmission lines on the residential area to the south.
At the meeting, Medlin told the board that he fears additional industry built in the area would have no choice but to use Nail Road for traffic along with school, residential and citizens going back and forth to work.
“Consider these people that live around in this area and the truck traffic that we already have over there,” Medlin said. “Just be compassionate to these people. They’re right, there are trucks everywhere and they even come up on Polk Lane.”
Taylor D. Buntin III is the attorney for Hillwood which is the developer of Legacy Industrial Park. Buntin said during public comments that the developer wants to work with residents who have concerns.
One resident, Susanna, who lives on Polk Lane, told the commission she expected city officials and commission members to protect the individual property rights of homeowners and not big business.
“The industrial warehouses are taking over our neighborhoods,” Susanna said. “I feel like our elected officials have been lobbied by the industrial warehouse industry with power and money.”
Susanna said the rezoning gives away the security and power individual homeowners in the area have.
Stan Shoemaker, who also lives on Polk Lane, said he opposed the rezoning from PUD (Planned Urban Development) to Light Industrial.
“Each 100 door distribution center will bring in 30 to 40 freight trucks every day,” Shoemaker said, “...all a warehouse is, is a truck magnet. These drivers have nowhere to go while their waiting to be unloaded. We need more houses in Olive Branch, we need more libraries and green spaces. We don’t need warehouses.”
The commission did approve the rezoning for the north tract of land before the close of the meeting. Discussion of the south tract was tabled.
Commission members Steve Stratton, Kimberly Remak and Diane Senger opposed the move with members Jim Schumpert, Donnie Singh, Pat Dorr, and Dion Jones in favor of the rezoning.