Rezoning Request

The corner of 24th Avenue and 18th Street is the proposed site for the new Dollar General Store. Perched along a main route for travel in the mid-town area, contractors say the site is perfect. However, city council members don't see it that way.

Despite a recommendation from the city's Planning and Rezoning Commission to approve a request to rezone the site from residential to commercial, city council members unanimously voted no!

'I can only speak for myself, but in my opinion it was close to spot rezoning,' says Council President Barbara Henson. 'Usually it's several tracks of land that people are rezoning and that we consider, but when it's just one little area, I've never looked favorably on that.'

The site is nestled in Ward 5 Councilman, Bobby Smith's district. During a phone interview he told Newscenter 11 that he is staunchly against the project because it clearly violates the comprehensive plan that was approved years prior by the city's Planning Commission. Smith stresses that the purpose of the plan is to protect the integrity of historic residential neighborhoods.

However, the contractor for the project disagrees.

'One of the neighbors who has gone in on the rezoning had asked us if we would do all masonry on the front and both sides and we agreed to dress that store up to make it look real nice for the area and also to do very extensive landscaping,' says Mike Rozier with Rozier Construction out of Carrollton, Mississippi.

Rozier is asking the council to reconsider the rezoning request. Touting the success of the store chain, he insists that approving the request could have long lasting benefits.

'Every store in the city of Meridian exceeds their national average. So, based on that, we're looking in the neighborhood of $18,000 or more in sales tax revenue. Property tax, which also includes the school tax, we're looking at $16,000 or $17,000 a year in the property tax,' says Rozier.

If the city council does reconsider the proposal, and it is ultimately approved, Rozier says construction could start at this site within 30 days of that. Within 60 days after construction starts, he says the grand-opening would follow.

Although the contractor has asked the city council to reconsider the request, he also has the option of requesting a formal review of the matter in Chancery Court.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Peabody Location: Valley Road on Mar 10, 2012 at 09:21 PM
    Aren't these the same people that just gave city workers a 1 1/2% raise the a few months later gave their secratery a raise that was almost equal to the total of all raises combined? They have lost touch with realality as this lastest move proves.
  • by Just Saying on Mar 9, 2012 at 07:38 AM
    This potential developer must not be from Meridian. He apparently doesn't know that the wealth is reserved for only a few in Meridian. This is an old money city. I guarantee if one of the big wills, such as Hartley Peavey, had requested the rezoning, it would have been a done deal. The rheteric is amazing that is used by people when trying to make excuses for their actions. Mrs. Henson is quick to talk about the "tax payer's money" when she doesn't want to do something. What about the tax payer money when she's pushing her own agenda? That goes for all of them. Should city council decisions be based on "personal feelings"? I have heard Mrs. Henson on several occasions referring to something not sitting well with her. She should be concerned about the thoughts and needs of the residents of Meridian.
  • by Steve Location: NOT IN MERIDIAN on Mar 9, 2012 at 06:42 AM
    So glad I moved out of the City...Glad this coty council had nothing to do with the new Dollar General in Center Hill
  • by James Who? on Mar 9, 2012 at 05:53 AM
    I'm all for that dollar store being built in the middle of a residential area. After all, what Meridian needs are more dollar stores, more check advance, check cashing, and auto title loan stores,more used car lots, more rent-to-own stores, and income tax preparation "services"--and, I almost forgot, more pawn shops and loan companies.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 9, 2012 at 10:04 AM in reply to James Who?
      you are a bafoon
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 10, 2012 at 06:49 AM in reply to James Who?
      James, you must be rich?
  • by StateGal Location: Meridian on Mar 8, 2012 at 01:38 PM
    I say that the next time we have an election, vote out these oldsters on the city council and put some young folks in. Our old folks don't know what is good for Meridian.
  • by cw on Mar 8, 2012 at 09:55 AM
    I hope that the city residents dont forget this by voting time like they seem to have done for the past 20 years,or are the elections rigged like everything else seems to be?
  • by Anonymous Location: Meridian on Mar 8, 2012 at 09:15 AM
    There wasn't enough money passed under the table to the counselmen to get it passed.
  • by Charles Location: Quitman on Mar 8, 2012 at 07:30 AM
    Nobody in the government of Meridian has any sense. The only zoning laws that are needed are for gated communities or next door to Merihope. Meridian needs ways of revenue through taxes these business would bring in. I love our Dollar General in Quitman. I have bad knees and have a hard time getting around in the big box stores. I live four miles from the Dollar General Store. It takes hour and half just to go to the Meridian Walmart and back. I can go to the local Dollar General Store, walk around the store, and be back in my recliner in thirty minutes. Stonewall and Enterprise have new Dollar General stores and cars are in the parking lots all the time. Right now the trend in retail stores is small local discount stores like Dollar General or Family Dollar or Advance Auto. These local stores are going after local business. I see these stores going up in all the small communities and towns everywhere. Look out Meridian Council. Your payday to support city inter structure is going away. Your ability to pay off bonds will go away and your credit rating will be affected by your attitude toward business. Business bring money to the city. I would love to live next door to a Dollar General Store rather than a run down house that looks like crap. I like saving gas and money. The more money I save the better I can live.No thank you, I don't want to live in Meridian. You can keep your old run down city with all your robberies. Wake up Meridian City Council!
  • by Anonymous on Mar 8, 2012 at 06:05 AM
    I don't dispute the facts of the minutes because I haven't seen them. But even though there probably are some houses with historical architecture nearby, that neighborhood has been transitioning to commercial for some years now. Within 2-3 blocks you'll find medical, insurance, chiropractic and dental offices, pharmacies, a convenience store. Grayson Optical is in a building only a few years old. The insurance office is in a building that's relatively new. What's historical about that? Red Cross and United Way are in what you could call historic structures but they are still not residential. The city fathers just don't like the idea of a Dollar General there.
  • by Rose Location: meridian on Mar 7, 2012 at 09:31 PM
    Hello--City Council---you need Dollar General for their tax revenue so that you an pay for the new Police Station that is NOT being worked on at this time
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