City council approves public access gates for Massena Heights

LEADERS in Massena Heights expect public access gates to begin going up in the next two to three weeks, following a recent vote by the Jackson City Council to allow them.

Recently, the council approved allowing the neighborhood to install two devices, one on North Cheryl Drive between 2206 N. Cheryl and 4655 W. Cheryl, and one on Heritage Hills Drive at Culleywood Drive.

“We’re grateful to the city council for approving our public access gates application, particularly (Ward One Councilman) Ashby Foote, who assisted with our work to secure and beautify Massena Heights,” said Sally Birdsall, executive director of the Massena Heights Homeowners Association. “We hope the gates will improve safety and calm traffic in the area.”

The decision was approved on a 3-1 vote, with Foote and Councilmen Melvin Priester and Charles Tillman voting in favor. Ward Three Councilman Kenneth Stokes voted against.

Council members Virgi Lindsay, Aaron Banks and De’Keither Stamps were absent.

Birdsall told the council the association began looking at gates earlier this year, following a Wedgewood Street house burglary in January. During that incident, suspects took two motorcycles and a firearm. Another incident occurred there in October, when a vehicle was stolen from a home on Katherine Boulevard. Neighborhood surveillance cameras recorded the incident and showed the suspect fleeing the scene at a high rate of speed. “A police commander recommended installing the gates,” Birdsall said.

At an association meeting in February, 86 percent of homeowners voted in favor of moving forward with a gating application, Birdsall said.

At the meeting, eight people spoke in favor of the gates, while two spoke against, including Carmel Lopez Lampton, who lives outside the neighborhood. 

She told the council the neighborhood’s cameras are already located at her property line, and was concerned about having a gate there. “I spend a great deal of time in my yard, and the thought of noise of cars idling and the gates opening at all hours is very concerning.”


Massena Heights marks the third neighborhood to have been approved for gates since October. Recently, the council signed off on gating applications for the

See Massena Heights, Page 14A

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Rollingwood Beautiful Neighborhood Association and the Villages of Northpointe Homeowners Association. The Eastover neighborhood is also planning to install gates, and as of last week was going through the site plan review process.


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