Zoning issues surface again

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 22, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; For the last two years, Cobey Rowley has operated his business on property located at the Demopolis Industrial Park with a license obtained from the City of Demopolis. As of late, however, his company, Rowley Recycling, has come under scrutiny for doing just that.

In the last six months, Rowley has come before both the planning commission and the city council about the status of his license to operate his business. City attorney Rick Manley presented the council at Thursday&8217;s meeting with photos and documents saying Rowley&8217;s practices were not in line with the license requirements, furthermore that the license he has been granted is not in compliance with the zoning for his property.

Rowley recycles metal and other materials in large quantities.

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Originally, Rowley was granted the license by C.E. Brooker, city building official, under the assumption Rowley would only be recycling aluminum cans. Since then, Rowley&8217;s operations have increased, which have stirred complaints from their neighboring businesses.

Manley told the council Foster Farms, which is located across the street from Rowley&8217;s property, complained about the pile of materials in plain site on the property and about a &8220;vermin problem.&8221; Rowley rebutted, saying they had actually had several business contracts with Foster Farms to recycle their materials.

Rowley also added he has had several contracts with the City of Demopolis.

Brooker described Rowley&8217;s business as &8220;of nonconforming use&8221; according to his license, and further stated the original license was granted against zoning.

Rowley was already denied a rezoning request for his property and was asked to work with city officials and even the Industrial Development Board to find an appropriate location for his business. So far, this has not produced a suitable solution for both sides.

According to Rowley, he said there is no appropriate time frame on when a proper location would be available for him to relocate.

After some discussion, the council granted Rowley 180 days to take action to put his operations in compliance with zoning and licensing requirements.