Concerned citizens filled the Leeds Civic Center at Monday’s special called Leeds Council meeting. This issue at hand was the rezoning of properties on Dunnavant Road and Pearl Street from its current status of heavy industrial to a R-2 single family residential district.

Mayor Eric Patterson asked for those “for” the change to state their name, address and reasons why, then giving the opposition the same opportunity for their voice to be heard.

Approximately 30 people in attendance were for the change and one was against.

After stating reasons such as a lot of the elderly live in this area and they like to keep it quiet. The road is too narrow for heavy industrial trucks to travel on and the fact that no one knows how it became zoned for heavy industrial in the first place were  put before the council.

Their opposition made  a case by saying the rezoning would decrease property value and it remaining heavy industrial would attract businesses to the city.

Evaluating both sides, councilwoman Susan Carswell said the residents did everything right by filing proper petitions, holding hearings and following proper procedures. “They’ve done everything the city requires.” Council man Johnny Kyle was concerned by the proper paperwork from 30 years ago not being filed and wanted to table the discussion for the issue to be raised to a higher expertise besides the council. “Whichever way we go, we’re setting ourselves up to be sued.”

A lawsuit has already been filed in regards to this issue in Jefferson County. City of Leeds attorney, Emily Bonds said, “This commercially zoned property is grandfathered in. We need to vote tonight up or down.”

The council voted to rezone the properties to a R-2 single family residential district by a vote of 5-1.

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