09/01/05 — Town Board to decide fate of rezoning query

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Town Board to decide fate of rezoning query

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on September 1, 2005 1:56 PM

From staff reports

MOUNT OLIVE -- Land behind the Southern Belle will be rezoned for a large shopping center, if the town board approves it.

The 27 acres of land was zoned for agricultural and residential use, but Tuesday night, the Mount Olive Planning Board voted to recommend changing the area to a heavy commercial district.

Officials did not mention Wal-Mart during the meeting, but Town Manager Ray McDonald told the board whoever buys the land is eventually going to have to come before the board with a plan.

Meanwhile, the planning board voted unanimously to ask the town board to annex the land for the current owners. Borden Howell Jr., who has 17 acres of the land behind the Southern Belle, and Hugh Oates, who has 10 acres, asked for voluntary annexation. Town commissioners will then be expected to set a public hearing.

Voluntary annexation is the easy solution, Mayor Ruff Huggins said. He said he and secretary Martha Nobles have developed a map showing areas north and west of town that need to be annexed. Northpointe Apartments has asked for voluntary annexation, but there are a few other properties next to Northpointe that need to come into the city limits first.

He said northern growth is heading toward the industrial park.

Huggins said a small area off West Main Street also needs to be annexed because it is the only section of land next to U.S. 117 that is not part of town.

The planning board has three new members, Wallace Hornton, who was appointed as the new chairman, George Fulghum and Angel Musgrave. They will serve a three-year term and be eligible for re-appointment for a maximum of nine years. The board elected Gena Knode vice chairman.

Shelton Blanton is the town's acting building inspector until the town names a new one. The town is expected to announce the new building inspector by the end of the week.