The City Council approved three annexation and original zoning requests at the Tuesday, Oct. 17 meeting.
There was no one present to oppose any of the annexation and rezoning requests. However, there was opposition to one of the three annexation and original zoning requests and that came primarily from District 1 City Councilmember Sharon Hightower over a request to annex 0.8 acres at 3900 Randleman Road and zone it Conditional District-Light Industrial (CD-LI)
Both the annexation and original zoning request passed by 7-2 votes, with Hightower and At-large Councilmember Hugh Holston voting against both motions.
Now that the property has been annexed, it is in District 1, represented by Hightower, and Hightower has a long history of voting against original zoning and rezoning requests in the district she represents.
Holston did not give a reason for voting against the annexation and original zoning request but did express concerns that because the area is sparsely populated, not many people were notified of the annexation and original zoning request. According to city staff, 48 notices were sent to property owners that were within 750 feet of the property at 3900 Randleman Road.
Hightower appeared to struggle to find something wrong with the annexation and original zoning request.
It seemed like a fairly simple request. Daymond Milam had the adjacent piece of property annexed and zoned CD-LI in 2021. At the time he said he intended to use an office on the property to do tax returns during the tax season and the rest of the year he planned to use the property for an auto detailing business.
Milam’s representative at the meeting said the adjacent property owner approached Milam about buying the adjacent lot and he did. Now he was requesting that the property be annexed and zoned CD-LI so that he could expand his business.
Milam’s representative noted that he was a “minority entrepreneur.”
Hightower responded, “I know him. I’ve met him. It’s interesting that I haven’t had any conversations with him about this. Yes, he’s a black entrepreneur, not just a minority entrepreneur, so he’s a black person, so I get that, don’t get me wrong. And I certainly support black entrepreneurs and growing their businesses. It’s just a little concerning I haven’t heard from him and I checked some of his other businesses and they aren’t office and auto detailing.”