I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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Midafternoon Various

  • Here’s the New York Times obit for Jim Dickinson, which has a good summary of his major credits.
  • The Clarion Ledger has editorialized that the Mississippi Supreme Court should reconsider its decision that the Fairview decision was spot zoning:

The Fairview’s restaurant, Sophia’s, is an integral part of their business. It would be difficult for the Belhaven bed and breakfast to serve meals only to the guests in the 18-room inn without opening the dining room to the public.The lawsuit challenging the city’s zoning decision was filed by Mark and Anita Modak-Truran and Daniel and Katherine Baker, all of whom are lawyers and represented themselves.

The court’s decision discourages Jackson revitalization in a neighborhood that already has a plethora of mixed-use zoning. The Fairview and Sophia’s are assets to Jackson that should not be lost to petty zoning squabbles.

I need to go back and re-read this decision.  What’s being lost in all the back-and-forth is whether the majority opinion is wrong as a matter of zoning law.  Mississippi’s zoning cases have long shown a tendency to reverse decision could be said to be “spot zoning,” and this decision by the city sounds like spot zoning to me.  I came away more impressed with the majority opinion than with the dissent, reading it before everyone in the neighborhood weighed in with their disagreement with the neighbors who opposed the change.

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