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  • Writer's pictureMichael Collins

"Highest and Best Use?"

Notasulga Planning Commission held a Public Hearing regarding a rezoning request from Robert J. Morris on the evening of October 11, 2022. The property requested to be rezoned is a 240+/- acre parcel of land in Notasulga AL. The request is to change or "rezone" the property from an Agricultural to an M-2 Heavy Industrial and Mining District.

Section 5-7 M-2 Heavy Industrial and Mining District is found here;

TOWN ORDINANCES ( On this page, if you click on "Zoning Ordinance 1985" you will have the document handed out to some of the individuals who came to witness/participate in the Public Hearing [attached below]. Section 5-7 AG Agricultural District is found on page 30. Once on page 30, you may notice the handwritten remark "M-2 ordinance INSerTED INTO BOOK" [sic].

zoning ord. pdf
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Section 5-7 M-2 Heavy Industrial and Mining District

5-7-1 Permitted Uses

a. Any use permitted in the M-1 Industrial District;

b. Quarry or sand and gravel operations and related operations;

c. Asphalt, concrete or cement products manufacturing and related operations;

d. Building materials and construction materials, manufacturing and sales yards;

e. Railroad tracks, spurs, loading equipment and facilities, terminals, shops and yards;

f. Signs subject to provision of Section 6-6; and

g. Customary accessory uses and structures.

Robert J. Morris was asked to present his request to the Notasulga Planning Commission and the local residents/property owners during the Public Hearing. Robert J. Morris introduced himself and added he was an Attorney and a Certified Public Accountant. During his presentation, Mr. Morris explained that he was working with investors to find tax breaks for themselves. He introduced the idea that he and his investors would likely 'gift' the 240 acres to the city [Notasulga] for them to reap the tax break goal. It is unclear what contracts, meetings, or transferring funds have or have not taken place. Mr. Morris said that it is unlikely any of his investors live in or near Notasulga. He did repeatedly use the term "Highest and Best Use" throughout his presentation as well as in responding to Public Comments. What is the highest and best use for 240+/- of land with granite underneath the ground do you think?

A number of the local residents were present to hear Mr. Morris and to witness the Notasulga Planning Commission's actions on the matter. A Motion for Approval was submitted by Samuel Scott Barnhart and seconded by Simona Miller. The Notasulga Planning Commission approved Mr. Morris's request and has advanced the proposal to the Notasulga City Council. The next city council meeting will be Monday [October 17, 2022]. Then the city council will advertise the next and FINAL Public Hearing regarding rezoning the 240+/- acre parcel.

Were you at this Public Hearing [October 11, 2022]? If so, please contact our offices at Our offices will update as we learn more.

Until we next meet,


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