AMORY – The board of aldermen paved the way Aug. 20 for more development opportunity following a public hearing regarding the rezoning of three of three vacant parcels alongside Highway 278.

Members of the city’s development board recommended rezoning the property, located next to Dollar General, from M2, also known as heavy commercial, to B2, which is also referred to as highway commercial. Aldermen approved the change of status.

“The development board’s mission is to look toward future development opportunities for Amory. We initiated this adjustment to make it easier for development to occur,” said Amory Planning and Zoning Administrator David Moore.

According to city ordinances, the purposes of the M2 district are to provide areas which are suitable for heavy industrial and heavy commercial uses, whereas B2 districts are intended to accommodate a broader range of commercial uses catering primarily to the needs of the motoring public and relying upon high visibility and good accessibility.

Moore said the rezoning applies to the frontage along Highway 278, whereas the heavy commercial zoning remains in place farther back, which he estimated to be approximately 500 feet.

In the years since the zoning designation next to Highway 278, Amory’s heavy industries have found more suitable locations near the city’s port alongside the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

“We don’t want to limit any opportunities for development if we can help it,” said city development board member Roy Starks.

There is some site work underway on the lot next to the Dollar General by the property owner, but city planning and zoning department administrative assistant Angie Whitlock said no long-range plans connected with the activity are known at this time.

Last week’s aldermen meeting adjourned in memory of the late former Ward 4 Alderwoman Peggy Wilkerson.

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