Supervisors making progress on changes to subdivision regulations

At the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors meeting on May 23, 2018, the board discussed a current issue with section lines and also how to move forward with incorporating needed adjustments to the current subdivision regulations in place for Pearl River County.

During the discussion, Tax Assessor Gary Beech pointed out that if a resident owns property that spans a section line, the landowner will receive two tax bills. Beech stated that some landowners do not pay the second tax bill and have actually lost that part of their property in a tax sale.

Board Vice President Hudson Holliday, who owns property that has a section line through it as Beech described, asked Beech how the county could fix this problem? Beech explained it would take a change in the current system in place to be able to remedy the situation.

The board also had a very long discussion on how to better regulate subdivisions, particularly the private roads that are put in place when a subdivision is constructed.

County Administrator Adrian Lumpkin stated that if the county would require a separate deed for the road for a new subdivision, that would make it easier if that road would ever be moved from a private to a public (county) road. Lumpkin pointed out that this would be done after the construction of the road was built and approved by the county engineer to meet standards that match those currently in place.

Lumpkin added that is some cases the deeds of land are divided with portions of the road included in all the parcels which creates a complicated situation if a road is to be taken over by the county at some point. Lumpkin explained that this forces the county to go through a process of changing the deed of each property that encompasses a portion of the road in question before the road can be owned by the county and eventually maintained.

Holliday presented a document that outlines four categories of how subdivisions could be determined going forward:

1. Amongst Heirs (airs) meaning the division of the land occurs between members of a family or an estate. This designation would be for land so long as no new roads are required to be constructed for access and drainage is not affected. This type would be exempt for subdivision regulations. No restriction on the road.

2. Multi-Use division of land is the dividing a large parcel of land into smaller with characteristics defined by usage such as agriculture, forestry, hunting, recreation, investment, residential, or a combination of said usages. The road would be require to be of at least gravel or limestone and must adhere to the county standards, approved by the county engineer.

3. High Density Residential Subdivision which is designated by the characteristics of a parcel of land that once defined cannot be divided again in the future.

4. Single Parcel is characterized by the sale of land that may be multi-use or strictly residential. This land would have legal access described by metes and bounds connecting the parcel to a public road.

Holliday’s document also defined what is required by the developer for any road put in place for access to property in accordance with county requirements in regards to the surface used, ditches, widths, slopes, and drainage. It also gave a definition of a public road as any road that is maintained using taxpayer funds.

Public roads must be of a hard surface and be constructed in agreement with the standards defined by the county engineer. A public road will be added to the public road list and be marked with a green sign from the county bearing the name of the road.

A private road is any road constructed and maintained by private funds. A private road will not be subject to any public funds expenditure with the exception of it being designated as a school bus turnaround. A private road will not be on the public roads list and will be marked with a blue sign from the county bearing the name of the road.

The supervisors stated they will review all of the details from Mr. Holliday’s suggestions and discuss what actions need to be taken in a future board meeting and will possibly involve a public hearing if so needed.

The Board of Supervisors have a regular scheduled meeting on Monday (June 4, 2018) at 9:00am in Poplarville.

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