And . . . Zoning issues affecting suburbs

As Jackson has been forced to pass stricter zoning laws to protect and preserve neighborhoods, so suburban cities have had to review housing and zoning issues.

In Flowood, for example, the city has been grappling with an explosion in apartment construction, trying to balance apartment, single-family and commercial development.

Ridgeland only recently approved an ordinance that creates an “overlay,” setting strict guidelines, for select subdivisions to preserve the character of the neighborhoods.
Madison has long had some of the most stringent zoning regulations in the metro area to ensure orderly growth.

But Rankin County was forced for adopt zoning regulations for the first time last year, as Brandon, Pearl and Florence have had to enforce their restrictions ever more.

Clinton probably had the most nightmarish zoning dispute in recent years, with a treehouse dispute challenging its ordinance. After going all the way to the Mississippi Supreme Court, the treehouse won and Clinton lost.

Planning is essential for preserving neighborhoods, promoting industrial development and protecting homeowners’ property values. Something as routine as the size of a lot can determine if a neighborhood loses its character.

Candidates should understand that strict zoning is critical for quality of life.

Clarion Ledger Editorial
4/26/5