Council rezones properties

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 6, 2005

DEMOPOLIS-Rezoning of certain properties including Sunset Road created some confusion at Thursday’s Demopolis City Council meeting between residents and the plan in store.

The ordinance came on the recommendation of the Demopolis Planning Commission, which would have changed the zoning from the classification of an R-1 to an R-3. The changes were simply to take property that may have a mobile home on it and move it from R-1 to R-3 to save citizens the expense of coming to the city to have it done. The idea for the change came from a 1994 decision by the city to annex the area changing it from county to city property.

The current classification of R-1 is the general classification given to newly annexed city property. Demopolis Mayor Cecil P. Williamson said the change was to make things easier for the residents.

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“When a city annexes property it is all annexed as R-1 property which is a single family dwellings,” Williamson said. “Annexes are R-1 automatically. In order for it to be zoned for what it is being used for, whether it is a business or a mobile home, the city has to rezone it for the use it is in. That is why it was rezoned.”

Most confusion came on the topic of adding residents to the property. Some wondered if allowing others to move onto the property would be a problem.

They were told they would have to appeal to the Planning Commission to subdivide the property because they were in the city limits. They would also have to appeal to the board of adjusters to put a trailer on property.

The confusion arose from a statement that said a duplex was acceptable for R-3 zoning, but other measures would have to be taken to add another dwelling.

Don Singleton, a resident of Sunset Road, said the wording created confusion.

“At the last meeting we came to and it was discussed I was informed that on an R-3 you could have two residents per lot,” Singleton said. “That is kind of deceiving because I didn’t catch the duplex part of it. I just saw two.”

Councilman Melvin Yelverton said the city wanted to work with the residents to make things as easy as possible. He said if they wanted the zoning changed they present their plans the proper committees.”

“The biggest misunderstanding on this is the difference between an R-1, R-2 and R-3,” Yelverton said. “Everything can be changed if it is for the right reasons. All you have to do is come before the board. The board of adjustments can change any land if you tell when why you want to get it changed. If they don’t change it you can appeal.”

Yelverton said the change was not aimed at limiting landowners; it was aimed at protecting them.

“This is to make it easier for the neighbors get along with everybody,” Yelverton said. “That is what it really comes down to. All this is trying to do is make it easy for neighbors to get along with each other. I think there is a misconception of us saying this is how it has got to be. This is the way it is recommended.”