DeSoto County Board of Supervisors is asking the Olive Branch Planning Commission to deny a request to rezone property in the Legacy Park area that would open the door for more warehouses to be built.
The applicant is asking the city to rezone the property on the east side of Polk Lane from PUD (Planned Unit Development) to M-1, or Light Industrial District.
The board voted unanimously at its Jan. 3 meeting to send a letter to Olive Branch Director of Planning and Development Jason Gambone expressing their opposition, arguing that the rezoning would put more truck traffic on Polk Lane Extension and Nail Road Extension and make it less safe for residents.
The land was under the county’s control when the original warehouses were built, but was part of the area annexed by Olive Branch.
District 1 Supervisor Jessie Medlin, who represents the area, said the county assured residents that there would be a buffer between the residential neighborhoods and the large warehouses in Legacy Park and that warehouses would not be allowed to expand.
“I just think it needs to stay the same,” Medlin said. “People were told at the time that there wouldn’t be any more (warehouses). Now they want to encroach in the PUD zone and put 200 more acres of warehouses. We don’t want any more warehouses in that area.”
Medlin said the county also doesn’t want to see more truck traffic on the recently constructed Nail Road Extension, which would have a negative impact on the adjacent Whistling Pine subdivision to the south.
Merlin said he’s also concerned that Nail Road east won’t be able to handle more truck traffic. The extension of Nail Road and the Polk Lane extension was intended to provide alternative roadways for residential and school traffic to get away from busy Goodman Road and Hacks Cross Road.
“We actually got a mile of it built to get the traveling public off Goodman Road because Goodman has so much truck traffic on it and with the school,” Medlin said. “Now they are proposing warehouses and we don’t want the truck traffic on that road. We were building the road for that purpose.”
Medlin said he fought against more warehouses in the past fearing one day they would encroach on Nail Rail, but now it’s up to Olive Branch to decide because the county lost control of the area when it was annexed.
“That’s why I was afraid that once they got across that road, it would spread,” Medlin said. “As soon as they annexed it, they ran to the city and filed an application for rezoning. At lest when the other warehouses were built, they left some buffer between the neighborhood to the south. But when I saw this, they actually have the warehouses encroaching all the way down to Nail Road to the south.”
District 4 Supervisor Lee Caldwell said she agrees that it is important for the county to keep its promise and to oppose the rezoning so that the area won’t turn into a warehouse district.
“As the people came before us, we told them we would not pursue having warehouses come there, that we would protect their homes and that area there,” Caldwell said.
Medlin will express the board’s opinion on the rezoning when it comes before the planning commission on Jan. 11.
“I just feel like we need to be involved in it,” Medlin said. “I want it to be real plain to the planning commission and the Board of Aldermen in Olive Branch that everybody feels the same way I do, that the board is opposed to changing the zoning to warehouses in that area.”