VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – A Vicksburg business owner, Sukhbir Singh, fought to keep a piece of property on Halls Ferry Road functioning so he could open a liquor store.
However, the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Alderman unanimously voted, 3-0, against rezoning the property in Marcus Bottom that would have allowed for a liquor store in the area.
“It’s really not a challenge you just have to make sure you are in the right zone. What we do is try to enforce these zoning orders, and if you don’t, you can disrupt a city. We just couldn’t find a mistake that the zoning board had made. We didn’t want to spotting zone, and we didn’t see the economic impact of changing it,” explained Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr.
The rezone would have allowed for a joint location of a laundromat and a liquor store to be located at 2600 Halls Ferry Road in Vicksburg, which is a former site of a Kentucky Fried Chicken.
“It wasn’t just a liquor store. The zoning is to protect the integrity of the neighborhood. When you have someone try to come into that zoning area that has already been zoned that is outside the zone, then you have to protect the integrity. It wasn’t just necessarily just a liquor store. What we try to do is uphold the integrity of the community, so that you can keep the value of property up in the community,” said Flaggs.
Additional officials within the City of Vicksburg also weighed in on the topic. They claimed rezoning can cause problems that may be difficult in the future to get fixed. Once a rezone is granted for an area the enhancement and upkeep of that area is fundamental.
Property owners near the area have also reached out to the city and expressed their concerns about the possibility of a liquor store opening in that location.
“I think we are open to business coming into the Marcus Bottom area. We’re into improving the Marcus Bottom area, but this just wasn’t a good fit for the neighborhood because of the fact that it was just a liquor store. If it had of been anything else, we would’ve considered it that had a better impact, economic impact or enhancing the Marcus Bottom area, we would’ve looked at it. It’s just you have to look at things at a case to case basis,” stated Flaggs.
Singh presented a petition with 170 signatures to the City of Vicksburg of residents who would like to see the liquor store become a reality.