Troy will watch zoning

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 23, 2009

After giving the final OK to one of the city’s most highly contested zoning requests, the Troy City Council has started taking a hard look at its zoning enforcement — or lack of it.

“I have not done my job of making sure we’re doing enough. I’ve been assured through the last couple of years we’ve been doing everything we can,” said Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford. “I’m not convinced we have been doing all we can.”

Earlier this month, a request from property owners on the first block of Highland Avenue to change zoning in that area from R-1 single family living to R-3 high-density living met its final approval at the council table.

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But, the request met strong opposition from surrounding residents, and among those were allegations that even current zoning laws were not being met.

Lunsford said the Highland Avenue changes are not what spurred the decision for stronger enforcement.

“Highland has no bearing on it,” Lunsford said.

Though, before the final vote was given to Highland’s change, council members stressed zoning enforcement was a condition.

“I told you all I want it enforced,” said Councilman Charles Meeks, who is a representative of the Highland area. “It affects my area more than any other.”

While the council took no specific action Tuesday, zoning enforcement was among the biggest discussions during the work session before the council meeting.

“We are going to get something in place where we can adequately enforce zoning issues,” Lunsford said.

What exactly the city will do to take action is still to be determined, but Lunsford said

he anticipates meeting with city officials to begin formulating a strategy in the next week.

“We’ve got to get a handle on it,” Lunsford said.

With the 2010 budget year just weeks away, the council also discussed its budget for the coming year.

But, at Lunsford’s request, the council has adjourned its meeting until Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 11 a.m. to discuss the budget that will carry the city from Oct. 1 this year to Sept. 30, 2010.

In the meeting, the city also approved a retail liquor license for Monarcas. The license was already approved in the owners’ name, but it has now been changed to the corporate title.

Members were also addressed by a concerned resident Margie Barrow, who said she and her 80-year-old mother were evicted from their home in Fox Croft Apartments.

Barrow told the council she was treated unfairly by the Troy Housing Authority, but Council President Johnny Witherington said there was little they could do to help.

“We want to help you, but you haven’t offered any specifics,” Witherington said. “The housing authority has to address this, and the city council has no authority over them.”