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Local real estate developer and businessman Jeremiah Horne met with the Cairo City Council this week to discuss possible changes to the city’s zoning ordinance.
Horne says the city’s existing zoning ordinance prohibits more than one structure being constructed on a lot zoned R3.
The local businessman owns a 3.5 acre tract on Cairo’s southeast side, near other apartments, and he is interested in building more than one residential unit on his property.
According to Horne, neighboring communities like Thomasville, Bainbridge and Moultrie do not have similar zoning restrictions in an R3 zone.
Thomas L. Lehman, attorney for the city council, said the alternative is to utilize the residential planned unit development of RPUD zoning classification in existing law. Lehman said the city limited the number of structures on an R3 zoned tract in order to have more control over development of multifamily housing.
“The city wants to see the plan for the whole tract. They want to see a planned development,” the city attorney said.
Horne said he could pursue that option. Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Cox asked if following Lehman’s suggestion would not expedite Horne’s project. “I could do that, but it would not expedite anything,” Horne said.
Councilman James H. (Jimmy) Douglas said he was not prepared to act without some input and guidance from the city staff. “I’d like to get some input from folks who know a lot more about this than I do,” Douglas added.
The mayor pro tem suggested Horne meet with the city manager, Chris Addleton, and building official, Brian Hayes, to “talk about the best way to do this.”
Cox praised Horne for what he has been doing to address the need for affordable housing in the community and said the city should work to assist Horne in every way possible.