Smiths Grove City Commissioner, Terry Pierce says: "The meeting went a little more strange than I wanted it to go."
In a jam-packed, standing room only crowd, citizens of Smiths Grove faced off against the city commission. The land at the center of the meeting is owned by Velta Rose Smith.
Smith says: "On Main, the Garden Patch on Main it's been there a year and a half."
The property where the Garden Patch lies is just outside the commercial district of Smiths Grove. Smith had a Conditional Use permit issued to operate the business out of the home, but that would require someone to live at the house and no one did.
Smith says: "Last November someone filed a complaint right after the election. Then I went to planning and zoning to get it rezoned because I want to do the right thing."
Smith filed for rezoning from Residential to Neighborhood Business. The mayor was against the zoning change, but the majority of the crowd at the meeting was on Smith's side.
Commissioner Pierce says: "There was some opposition but nothing compared to the support for it. There's been overwhelming support for this zoning change."
One of the citizens brought the room to their feet clapping when he said: "You don't want to hear it. And the people want something to be done. And you all are saying, 'No we're making excuses for not doing!'"
After the room erupted in applause the mayor tried to adjourn the meeting but Commissioner Martin talked the mayor into letting the meeting continue so a vote could take place.
When the vote to rezone did pass, Mayor Gilley warned the crowd to behave, by waving his gavel at them, before adjourning.
The first reading for rezoning took place on April 25 and the second reading was Friday, May 6. The vote to rezone The Garden Patch was approved with Commissioners Varner, Martin and Pierce voting yes. Mayor Gilley voted no and Commissioner Watt abstained.
More information about the city commission is available at www.smithsgrove.org.