A commercial store within a residential area is the last thing one group of citizens want in their neighborhood that they said is already plagued with enough drugs and alcohol.
A group of citizens appeared before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen during its regular board meeting Monday with concern over a building placed on Second Street, between Charles Street and Maynie Alley. The structure was placed there with the intention of opening it as a commercial store.
However, the city building inspector Russ Carter said the building is not up to code and cannot be used as a business within a residential zone. Also, he added that the building owner did not follow the proper procedures for placing the structure in the residential neighborhood.
Carter said no permit had been issued for the building, and its location is not zoned for commercial use. He said a notice will be given to the building's owner that there is a procedure that must be followed.
"Currently, there was a violation even placing the building there," said Mayor Diane Delaware. "The second violation is it doesn't meet code. Third, it does not meet the zoning of the area. There are three strikes here. You have to give him a notice. Send the notice, and get it moved."
Alderwoman Elizabeth Thomas also made note that she questioned the building’s location, which is within her ward, to Carter before this week’s meeting. She said many residents had already began calling her with concerns.
Thelma Jones, who lives on Charles Street, said the building was placed near in her home on March 13. Five days later, she said she was approached by the building's owner.
"He asked for my signature because he wanted to sell things out of the building," Jones said. "This is a residential neighborhood. I am all for entrepreneurship, but when it infringes on my rights as a resident, it bothers me."
Jones said a commercial store in that area would only bring in more traffic.
"We had no notice of this," Jones added. "There was no notice in our mail or in the newspaper."
Nobel Latiker agreed with Jones that the building, much less a store, is not wanted in the neighborhood.
"We don't want it because it is going to cause a lot of confusion, drugs and alcohol," Latiker said. "We try to keep our neighborhood decent, but we have enough problems. Yazoo City did not use to be like this. Elders are afraid to come outside because of the drugs."
Latiker said drugs and alcohol come in and out of stores similar to what is intended to be placed in his neighborhood.
"We can't afford to add another hazard to our neighborhood," added resident Mildred Brown. "People are already blocking that alley."
Carter told the city council that he will notify the building owner of his violations and instruct him to remove the building until the proper procedures are followed.