An alleged unlicensed business located in a Moorhead subdivision has District 1 Supervisor Glenn Donald feeling less than upbeat about its presence in the community.
During Monday’s Sunflower County Board of Supervisors meeting, he raised a concern about a house in the Eastmoor Subdivision that he said is being used for a club.
Donald made an impassioned plea for the members to enact a statute or some decree to immediately shut the business down. However, Attorney Johnny McWilliams cautioned that there was a procedure that must be adhered to.
Donald emphasized, "Eastmoor Subdivision, we have a problem there. There's a person who has taken a house and made a club out of it and the residents have been complaining to me for about two or three weeks.”
After hearing his fiery protest, the county lawmakers unanimously approved the establishment of a regulation to prevent parking on the street in Eastmoor Subdivision.
McWilliams said the ordinance should read, "From this day forth, there shall be no parking in the street on Eastmoor Circle within Eastmoor Subdivision."
Notwithstanding, Sheriff James Haywood objected.
"I wouldn't do that," he said.
McWilliams questioned why not, and Haywood told him that many of the residents in that area park in the street. Donald said the residents have driveways and the on-the-street parking is usually done at night by those who visit the alleged club.
Haywood also mentioned that state law requires that there be a valid reason to establish a parking ordinance. And he said they also needed to specify a set time.
Unrelenting in his complaint, Donald said deputies have gone there and told them to shut it down, but they keep opening it back up.
He stressed that the business has not been properly registered with the county tax assessor and does not have a privilege license.
He sought an opinion from McWilliams on what could be done to close the establishment permanently.
Donald talked about the money that has been invested and efforts that have gone into improving and revitalizing the subdivision and denounced the idea of a club-like environment in the middle of residential area.
He mentioned loud noise that disturbs the other residents and what he thought to be improper curbside parking on the narrow streets.
He said the owner of the property actually lives in Sunflower. "But it is her brother who has opened the club," he said.
He and Haywood discussed several options with McWilliams including issuing a citation for not having a privilege license, but none of them involved immediate closure.
Sunflower County Tax Assessor/Collector Cynthia Chandler said the operator of the establishment did come in and talk to her about a license, but told her that he was operating a snack shop that would be a service to the community.
Donald refuted the man’s claim, again mentioning the loud music and a pool table in the house along with other activities that he felt constituted a club.
Donald then questioned McWilliams about a permanent ordinance prohibiting club-type establishments in residential subdivisions and McWilliams said that currently the county does not have a zoning ordinance and that any such rule would have to follow an established procedure, which includes giving public notice and a public hearing.
The board was in agreement that McWilliams should investigate the establishment of an ordinance to disallow commercial businesses and clubs in platted subdivisions and McWilliams cautioned them to be prepared to define what constitutes a club.
McWilliams also said that anyone that lives near the place that Donald referenced who is bothered by what is being done there can file a lawsuit stating that the place is a public nuisance.
He said the suit would have to be filed in Chancery Court.
In other business,
The county’s original emergency declaration that was set to end on April 6 was extended until the first meeting in May.