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Future for tiny homes looks dim in Jackson

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Tiny homes, which are less than 400 square feet, are not addressed in Jackson’s code of ordinances, so they are currently permitted in the City of Jackson, as long as they meet building codes. That is probably going to change.

An ordinance had been drafted to limit tiny homes to certain zones within the city and allow them only with special permits. This would prevent anyone from putting a tiny home in a residential district among other single-family homes.

The Jackson Board of Aldermen tabled a vote on that draft ordinance at the April 17 meeting in order to further discuss the matter.

After removing the draft ordinance from the table on May 1, the aldermen voted down the ordinance on a 3-4 vote (Alderman Wanda Young was absent). Several aldermen stated that they were opposed to tiny homes anywhere in Jackson. One alderman said tiny homes may work well in a big city where space is limited, but they are not a good fit for the City of Jackson.

The matter will go back to the Planning & Zoning Commission. It is possible that a new ordinance may be drafted to prohibit tiny homes altogether.

In other action

• East Jackson Boulevard street lights: The aldermen approved a $38,100 task order to Strickland Engineering, Inc., of Jackson, to provide engineering services for installing street lights on East Jackson boulevard between the Aldi construction site and I-55.

• Fire station renovation: The aldermen approved the transfer of $1 million from the City of Jackson’s electric surplus fund to the capital projects construction fund to pay for renovations to Fire Station No. 1, as it expands into the side of the building where the police department once was.

• Depository agreement: The mayor was authorized to sign a depository agreement with Wood & Huston Bank.

• Easements: The aldermen accepted the dedication of a water line easement deed from the Hamlet Group, LLC, as part of the Lee Avenue Water Line Extension Project.

Also, the dedication of a sanitary sewer easement deed from Susan Jahn was accepted for the South Old Orchard Road Lateral Sewer Project.

• Park Board appointment: The aldermen approved the mayor’s appointment of Mandi Gard to the Park Board.

• Rezoning: The aldermen authorized city staff to prepare an application on behalf of the City to rezone 403 and 409 E. Main St. and 108 S. Georgia St. from I-2 (heavy industrial) to C-3 (central commercial) districts. This will allow the single-family residences on those lots to be sold as residences or repaired if damaged. Without the rezoning, they would be considered a nonconforming use.

• Paving: A bid of $342,337,98 was accepted and a contract was authorized with Black Diamond Paving, LLC, of Oak Ridge, for the 2023 Asphalt Paving Improvement Program.

• Minor plat: A minor plat was approved for Independence Center Eighth Subdivision as submitted by Douglas Siding, LLC.

• Old Bethel Church: During study session, a request was made by Beverly Nelson of the Old Bethel Oversight Team that the City do something to improve the low water bridge on the road that approaches the historic Old Bethel Church. Goose Creek often flows over the bridge, making it difficult or impossible for visitors to get to the church.

With sharp inclines on both sides of the low-water bridge, church buses and tour buses often drag bottom when crossing the bridge.

The church will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year, and she would like to see if something can be done before festivities begin.

• Sunset Drive bridge improvement: City Engineer Anna Bergmark discussed the possibility of applying for a grant to help pay for the Sunset Drive bridge replacement. If approved, MoDOT will pay for 88% of the replacement and the City would be responsible for 12%. A resolution to apply for the grant will come before the aldermen at the May 15 meeting.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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