Olive Branch Neighborhood Stays Residential

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(Olive Branch, MS) Developers have had their eye on the property at Germantown and Stateline Road for years.

Most here acknowledge it will someday become a commercial corner, but not for now.

Tuesday night, residents managed to get the Olive Branch Board of Aldermen to turn down a rezoning request.

”When the proposal was brought up by the developer, they didn’t have a plan. They just wanted to rezone it sight unseen,” said Alderman Don Tullos.

He believes neighbors aren’t against development, they just didn’t think this was the time, and if they had to sell their land they wanted it to be for something good, ”The citizens are saying tell us what you want to do and we’ll look at it and we’ll be part of it.”

Developers refused, and based on approvals by the Planning Commission, it didn’t look good.

But homeowners had an ace up their sleeve.

By state law, if a certain amount of affected residents sign a petition, they can force the Board of Aldermen into a “super-majority” situation which requires more votes to pass anything.

The re-zoning vote failed with four in favor and three no votes.

That’s one shy of a super majority.

Tullos says it proves, that in Mississippi at least, citizens have real power, if they choose to use it, ”I tell citizens very simply, get involved, don’t sit back and let your elected officials, whether they’re in Olive Branch or somewhere else. Come forward and let people know what you want.”

Because he says, those who don’t, get nothing.