Court denies R’land requestBy ANTHONY WARREN,
Opponents of the Ridgeland Costco Wholesale scored a minor victory recently in their efforts to keep the wholesaler from locating on Highland Colony Parkway.
Last week, the Mississippi Supreme Court denied the city of Ridgeland’s request to expedite the appeal of the city’s 2015 vote to amend the zoning ordinance.
Ridgeland asked the high court to expedite the process on July 17. Justice Robert Chamberlin denied the request on July 25.
In its motion, the city “seeks the expedited review because it is, on a daily basis, losing the jobs and tax revenue that development would yield not only for the city, but for its schools.
The city further argued that the zoning ordinance changes were not approved without the input of residents.
In their response, opponents claimed the city “never contacted (them) … regarding its desire for an expedited briefing schedule.”
Also, the city’s argument that it is “losing jobs and tax revenue because Costco is not moving forward … while this appeal is ongoing” assumes the justices would affirm the “error of the Madison County Circuit Court.”
Amendments to the city’s zoning ordinance were approved by the mayor and board of aldermen in 2015.
Changes included allowing remote gas stations to be built on C-2 commercial properties. The Costco would be located on C-2 property along Highland Colony near Christ Life Church of the Highlands.
Costco opponents argue the changes were made strictly to bring the store to the parkway.
Developers announced the store was coming to Ridgeland in September of the same year.
E-mails included in the court record appear to back up opponents’ claims. However, city officials assert that the changes would impact all C-2 properties, not simply the proposed site of the Costco.
Nine residents appealed the city’s decision to the Madison County Circuit Court. The court affirmed the city’s decision, and the case was appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court in May.
Opponents are worried about the impact the store will have on property values and quality of life. They’re also concerned that the store will increase traffic in the area. It is slated to be located near the Old Agency Road roundabout, as well as the Natchez Trace Parkway.
The briefing schedule was set on July 12. Appellants (the opponents) must submit its records to the court within 40 days of that date. Appellees (the city) has 30 days to respond after that. The appellants then have 14 days to file an answer to the city’s response.
The Costco is being developed by Andrew Mattiace, and will be part of the third phase of Renaissance at Colony Park.