Rezoning plan causes push back on social media

There is a proposal with the DeSoto County Planning office to be considered at a hearing on Jan.18 that would change the name of Agricultural-Residential (AR) zones to Residential Estate (RE). 

At face value, a name change may not seem like a big thing, but it has generated enough social media buzz that DeSoto County Government took to Facebook to try to clear up what it considers misconceptions about the proposal.  

Under the proposal, properties under 10 acres in size would become RE zones. Properties larger than 10 acres would be rezoned as Agricultural. 

One contention is that the new district would take away language about agriculture from permitted uses of properties. 

County officials counter by saying the proposal would increase the number of properties in the Agriculture Zone District by about 6,000 and those in the proposed RE zone would still be able to raise and keep small animals and fowl. 

The county said it does not regulate hobbies, as some say the proposal would do and the county Planning Office doesn’t regulate shooting guns in yards. “If you can shoot guns in your yard now – you will still be able to shoot guns,” the county social media post read. “The Home Occupation allowances are the same for RE as they were for AR and A,” the post added, addressing possible regulation of hobbies.  

Other items mentioned by the county about the proposal are that the parking restrictions now under the AR zoning are the same as in the RE zone, and that taxes would not change. The move also would not mean an increase in taxes.  

Opponents of the zoning move stated there are more than 100 pages of codes and restrictions that have been added and believe it’s a sweeping change, “gigantic government power and freedom grab,” as written in a Facebook post in opposition.  

County officials said this is a proposal only and have scheduled two sessions on Jan. 18 to hear concerns from the public before it moves forward. The sessions are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the County Administration Building in Hernando. 

A copy of the proposed ordinance can be found on the official DeSoto County website and any questions may be directed to the county’s Planning Office by phone at 662-469-8023.