GERALD EMMETT BEARD, CHARLES JULES MICHEL, HAROLD JOSEPH BYRD, NILS KEREM MUNGAN, GEORGE THATCHER SHEPARD, JR., MATTHEW DENSON DeSHAZO, WILLIAM M. ADEN, THOMAS I. RICE, III AND JOEL G. PAYNE, JR.
CITY OF RIDGELAND, MISSISSIPPI AND MAYOR AND BOARD OF ALDERMEN OF THE CITY OF RIDGELAND
OF JUDGMENT: 04/21/2017
MADISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JOHN HUEY EMFINGER
COURT ATTORNEYS: WILLIAM DEMENT DRINKWATER JERRY L. MILLS
NORMAN ELVIN BAILEY, JR. JOHN PRESTON SCANLON SHELDON G.
ALSTON JAMES A. PEDEN, JR.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANTS: WILLIAM DEMENT DRINKWATER NORMAN
ELVIN BAILEY, JR. SHELDON G. ALSTON
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES: JERRY L. MILLS JOHN PRESTON SCANLON
Shortly after the adoption of its current comprehensive
zoning ordinance and map in 2014, the City of Ridgeland
("the City"), on June 2, 2015, adopted an amendment
to the zoning ordinance, creating as a permitted use in
general commercial ("C-2") districts a Large Master
Planned Commercial Development ("LMPCD"). The
amendment allowed uses previously prohibited in C-2 districts
and created an opportunity for the potential location of a
Costco Wholesale ("Costco") off Highland Colony
Parkway. Appellants Gerald Emmett Beard, Charles Jules
Michel, Harold Joseph Byrd, Nils Kerem Mungan, George
Thatcher Shepard Jr., Matthew Denson DeShazo, William M.
Aden, Thomas I. Rice III, and Joel G. Payne Jr., residents of
the City who live in nearby neighborhoods, appealed the
City's decision, arguing that the amendments constitute
illegal rezoning and/or spot zoning.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
In 2009, the City adopted a Comprehensive Plan for land
development to serve as a policy guide for the economic
development of Ridgeland. General commercial districts were
listed as C-2, C-2A, C-3, and C-6 districts. These districts
were to include businesses in which the principal activity is
conducted indoors. However, it stated that certain land uses
that involve some outdoor activities could be permitted in
On February 4, 2014, the City replaced its 2001 comprehensive
Zoning Ordinance and Map and adopted its current
comprehensive Zoning Ordinance and Map, in which the proposed
Costco site was rezoned from a C-4 district to a C-2
district. C-2 districts did not permit gas stations,
fast-food drive-through restaurants, drive-through
pharmacies, banks, drive-through automatic teller machines
(ATMs), food-product carry-out or delivery stores, or laundry
and dry-cleaning pickup stations as either permitted or
conditional Uses. A C-2 district was defined as follows:
410.01PURPOSE OF THIS DISTRICT:
A. The purpose of this district is to
promote the development of well-planned shopping centers and
independent (free-standing) commercial uses within carefully
selected areas of the City of Ridgeland. The commercial
activities permitted in this district include uses of a
higher intensity than those first allowed in Low-Intensity
Commercial districts (C-1).
B. It is the intent of this Ordinance that
shopping centers and independent commercial uses be developed
so that pedestrian and vehicular circulation is coordinated
with the circulation patterns of adjacent properties in the
vicinity that are also affected. In order to facilitate
access between adjoining properties and to reduce the number
of curb cuts onto arterial streets, the installation of a
service drive shall be considered in connection with any
independent commercial use (i.e., a commercial use that is
not a part of a shopping center) proposed in this district.
410.02 LAND USES PERMITTED:
A. All commercial uses allowed in the
Low-Intensity Commercial (C-1) District, subject to all C-1
B. Business-related retail and service
establishments first permitted in Low-Intensity Commercial
(C-1) District (no size restrictions).
C. Commercial uses in which services
performed and merchandise offered for sale are conducted or
displayed entirely within enclosed structures, including
department stores (full line or discount) and furniture and
D. Shopping centers located on minimum sites
of three (3) acres on an existing or proposed arterial street
as shown on the adopted Thoroughfares Plan; shopping centers
may contain any of the uses permitted outright in C-2 zones.
E. Strip Center Developments.
F. Hotels and motels and related
G. Broadcast studios (with transmitting
towers located elsewhere).
H. Commercial healthcare facilities, such as
dialysis centers, physical therapy facilities, diagnostic and
imaging facilities, 24-hour medical clinics, etc.
I. Veterinary clinics and pet shops,
excluding outside runs (kennels) subject to Special Use Site
Plan Standards in Section 600.14.F.
J. Mortuaries, funeral homes, mausoleums,
chapels and related facilities subject to Special Use Site
Plan Standards in Section 600.14.F.
K. Public streets, highways, private
streets, and alleys.
L. Free standing, enclosed restaurants
including fast food and fast casual restaurants with no
drive-thru (excluding drive-in restaurants).
410.03 CONDITIONAL USES AND STRUCTURES AS PROVIDED UNDER
A. Townhouses, patio homes, and zero lot
line homes subject to the regulations of the R-3 Single
Family Residential District, R-4 Zero Lot Line Residential
District, and R-4A Townhouse Residential District provided:
that the front yard setback for these residential uses when
fronting on a principal arterial or minor arterial street
(according to the adopted Thoroughfares Plan); shall be at
least 100 feet from the existing or proposed street
right-of-way of such arterial streets; or that noise
mitigation measures, acceptable to the Mayor and Board of
Aldermen (such as berms), be installed by the developers of
these residential uses.
B. Public or quasi-public facilities and
utilities in compliance with Section 32 and other regulations
of this Ordinance.
C. Other Conditional uses listed under the
C-1 Low-Intensity Commercial District regulations.
D. Buildings in excess of 48 feet or four
The commercial zoning districts progressively increased in
commercial intensity. The next commercial zoning district
listed was a General Commercial District ("C-2A")
(Arterial Streets). The purpose of a C-2A district was to
"allow property . . . on arterial streets to have
additional permitted uses because of the volume of traffic
located in these areas." All commercial uses allowed in
C-2 districts also were permitted in C-2A districts, in
addition to: food-product carry-out and delivery stores;
banks, branch banks, drive-through ATMs, and other banking
facilities; laundry and dry-cleaning pickup stations;
restricted uses; and public streets, highways, private
streets, and alleys. Conditional uses for C-2(A) districts
included: fast-food restaurants with drive-through, fast
casual restaurants with drive-through, and drive-in
restaurants; convenience stores; service stations;
convenience grocery stores; pharmacies with a drive-through;
other conditional uses listed under the C-2 general
commercial district regulations; lawn and garden equipment
sales and service (excluding outside sales and display);
coin-operated laundromats; and public or quasi-public
facilities or utilities might be considered as conditional
uses subject to the provisions of Section 32 of the
The next commercial zoning district was a convenience
commercial district ("C-3"), whose stated purpose
to establish specific areas for the development of
convenience commercial uses. These uses generate heavier
vehicular traffic volumes than uses first allowed in the C-2
General Commercial districts. The uses first permitted in
this district tend to generate more noise and litter than
General Commercial uses. These districts are appropriate for
location near the intersections of arterial streets, well
away from ANY residential uses.
uses in C-3 districts included any use permitted outright in
C-2A districts, as well as convenience stores; convenience
grocery stores; service stations; fast-food restaurants,
drive-through restaurants, and drive-in restaurants;
photomats; public streets, highways, private streets, and
alleys; and pharmacies with drive-through. Conditional uses
in C-3 districts included: public or quasi-public facilities
or utilities; climate-controlled storage facilities; car
washes/vacuum-cleaner stations and quick car-care clinics
(lubrication, tune-up, etc.); and free-standing "game
rooms, " for electronic video games, pool tables, etc.
Shortly after the February 2014 adoption of the new
comprehensive zoning ordinance, in March 2014, Alan Hart,
Director of Community Development for the City, prepared
concept plans to send to a Costco representative regarding
the possibility of locating a Costco in Ridgeland. In August
2014, the City submitted six potential sites along I-55 for
Costco to consider. Costco's consultant determined that
the Highland Colony Parkway site most aptly suited its
requirements. The proposed Costco site was to be located on a
forty-five-acre tract along the east side of ...