Attorneys set to schedule trial date in Byram annexation case

Attorneys set to schedule trial date in Byram annexation case

BYRAM, Miss. (WLBT) - Eleven years after it was incorporated, the city of Byram is looking to grow.

The city has filed suit in Hinds County Chancery Court to take in about two square miles of property to the northwest.

Attorneys with Byram and the city of Jackson will appear before Chancery Court Judge Tiffany Grove on Wednesday to set a trial date and a schedule for discovery, filing motions and the like.

The initial hearing comes about five months after Byram filed its petition in chancery court and eight months after the mayor and board of aldermen adopted an ordinance “enlarging, extending and defining the corporate limits.”

The annexation would take in about two square miles northwest of its current corporate boundaries.

Byram, in green, is hoping to annex property west/northwest of its current boundaries. That property is shown in pink and yellow.
Byram, in green, is hoping to annex property west/northwest of its current boundaries. That property is shown in pink and yellow. (Source: WLBT)

“Many residents in the area had requested the mayor to meet with them. He did meet with them a year or two ago, and they wanted to become part of the city of Byram,” said John Scanlon, an attorney working on the case. “Initially, this was included by the incorporators as part of the incorporation.

“The second thing is, as Byram continues to grow in that direction, along the Hinds Parkway, Byram wants to control the zoning and land use.”

The 18-mile parkway would connect Byram to the city of Clinton and would open much land along the corridor for development.

The parkway runs east to west through the proposed annexation site. The area also includes homes and property along Big Creek Road, Parks Boulevard, Parks Road Place, Parks Road, McCarty Road and other streets.

Scanlon said Byram is also hoping to address one error that was made at McCarty Road during the city’s initial incorporation.

“On McCarty Road, it was impossible to get onto the cul-de-sac without going through Byram, yet that cul-de-sac was not in Byram,” Scanlon said. “We wanted to do some things like that to correct the boundaries.”

Byram’s plans are currently opposed by the city of Jackson and by at least one resident. According to court documents, the capital city argues that the annexation “interferes with an established city of Jackson path of growth.”

Byram Mayor Richard White questions why Jackson would want that area when it has been opposed to the construction of the Hinds Parkway.

Several Jackson city council members have been opposed to the project, saying it would draw economic development out of Jackson.

Meanwhile, one resident, Patricia Bretheim, who said she was part of the city’s initial effort to incorporate, said Byram needs to fix problems in its current corporate boundaries before it expands.

“We … have roads that badly need to be paved that citizens have been asking about for years,” she said. “Some of the area of Bryam still does not have city sewer.”

“Why take on more area and promise them that within five years you will get all city services when you can’t provide it to the existing residents that have lived in the city for 10 years and don’t have it?” she asked.

Bretheim also is concerned that few people will be able to offer comment at Wednesday’s hearing.

Only 10 people will be allowed in Grove’s courtroom tomorrow, due to COVID-19 restrictions, according to Supreme Court Public Information Officer Beverly Kraft.

Scanlon said residents who are in favor and opposed to the project will have plenty of time to comment before the case is decided.

“Even those who stand in objection to it won’t need to present anything tomorrow, except to participate in a scheduling conversation,” he said. “The trial won’t be for several months. I guess it would be late next year or early 2020.”

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