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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Trouble looming about that Fairview restaurant zoning decision…

As I described yesterday, the Mississippi Supreme Court has held that the zoning awarded the Fairview Inn to have a restaurant is spot zoning and therefore arbitrary and capricious, and should not have been awarded.  Problem, noted in today’s Clarion Ledger:  The Inn is already serving food, and at least one city alderman just doesn’t think the Supreme Court has it right (failing to understand that “right” as far as the law goes is the utterance of a court with final review.  By that remark, you can tell I’m a realist and not a natural law man).  From the Clarion Ledger:

Peter Sharp, who owns the inn with his wife, Tamar Sharp, said the Fairview’s restaurant, Sophia’s, is open today as they wade through what the court’s decision means for his business.

“First of all, we’re not clear ourselves. We’re waiting to hear from our lawyer what it means,” he said. “Obviously we want to make available to the community dining options at the inn.”

Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon, who represents the Bellhaven neighborhood where the inn is located, said the city is exploring its options to keep the Fairview operating as a restaurant.

“I did and still do believe that the city acted correctly and legally in this matter. I’m disappointed with the court in their decision. There are some legal avenues that I’m sure the city will explore, but what that is I don’t know,” she said. “I think the Fairview is one of the most attractive assets that this city has. It’s unique; it’s one of a kind. It’s part of our tax base. It offers amenities that you don’t see in most places.”

Along with the inn and restaurant, the Fairview also operates a day spa and hosts special events.

And then there are folks in comments who wonder if this could all have other interesting repurcussions of the “it’s a small world after all” variety….

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