The Jackson City Council is weighing proposed rules to govern displays set up on sidewalks outside of downtown businesses, changes to regulations on the size of homes permitted in the city and higher fees for the collection of bulk waste.

The council on July 16 reviewed for the first time a public sidewalk display ordinance that, if approved, would allow businesses to display products, sidewalk signs, literature racks or temporarily set out benches tables and chairs.

Such displays would be allowed on only a portion of the public sidewalk, within 30 inches of the business’ front wall and in an area no wider than the business facade. Sidewalk displays would also have to be removed each day at the close of business.

“The objective is not to dictate what is out there, but to dictate what parameters” the displays must conform to, Jackson Mayor Kay Pippin said. “By allowing some things to be displayed, it shows life.”

The ordinance’s airing July 16 was the first of two required readings before the council can vote to approve it. The second reading is expected to be Aug. 6, followed by a vote.

The council also on July 16 took up proposed regulations on residential lot and structure sizes within the city zoning ordinances. The proposed ordinance reduces the required lot and home size in some residential zoning districts if the homes built there are built with more expensive materials.

Pippin said developers could potentially achieve greater density in a subdivision project if the homes are of higher quality. “If they’re willing to step up to these standards, we will consider giving them greater density,” she said.

The proposed building standards would allow lots of 9,000 square feet in certain zoning districts if the homes are a minimum of 2,000 square feet of heated and air conditioned space, meet EarthCraft or LEED certification standards, are roofed entirely with architectural shingles and at least 67% of the outer walls are clad in brick, stone or stucco.

The council is expected to hold a second reading on the ordinance change Aug. 6, with a public hearing and vote Aug. 20.

Disposing of bulk waste in the city of Jackson could get more expensive if the council adopts a proposed ordinance changing the fee structure for curbside collection.

The proposal discussed July 16 would allow officials to charge a “reasonable fee to be determined by the city based upon the reasonable cost of providing disposal service” for pickup of items including furniture and bulk garbage like paper, glass, rags and clothing. The change would give city officials wide latitude in calculating and recouping the cost of picking up waste and disposing of it in commercial landfills.

Under the current ordinance the costs to residents are fairly fixed, with the charge for curbside furniture pickup being between $25 and $100. The charge for the pickup of other rubbish is up to $100 based on the size of the pile.

City officials in recent years have faced higher landfill fees than in the past after declining to continue to treat certain landfill byproducts in city wastewater treatment plants.

The council will take up the proposed waste ordinance change again Aug. 6, and is expected to vote it up or down.

Managing Editor

Michael Davis has been the editor of the Jackson Progress-Argus since 2010. He previously worked as an editor and reporter for the Henry Daily Herald and Clayton News-Daily.