Voluntary reaction: Residents oppose zoning, but applicant for annexation stresses benefits

Residents who live just outside the Decatur city limits continue to voice their disapproval for a voluntary annexation of property that would be used for heavy industrial zoning use.
The first reading of an ordinance on voluntary annexation for 163 acres on the north side of Farm Road 2264 east of U.S. 81/287 was held Monday.
However, the commission voted 3-2 to recommend denying the request to zone the property heavy industrial, which is the least restrictive of all zoning designations.
“Be careful what you do, because in 20 or 30 years you’ll look back and say, ‘Why did we put a manufacturing place right in the middle of our community?
Ernest Gunstream and Cathy Wells, who both own property along County Road 4010 that borders the Wise County Consortium property, talked about their concerns that a buffer would not have to be built between their properties since they were not in the city limits.
He explained the consortium’s property is located adjacent to existing heavy industrial property, which makes it a good fit for the city.
“I really feel like the city is wanting to grow,” Adams said.
We feel like in this instance we are providing some good benefits for the city.” Current EDC Director Thom Lambert also spoke in favor of the annexation and the heavy industrial zoning for the property and tried to address some of the concerns raised by the residents.
“Believe me, we don’t want anything nasty, filthy, dirty or loud,” Lambert said.
“You say you don’t want to live next to heavy industrial.

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