RIDGELAND — Aldermen here unanimously approved four zoning ordinance amendments after a public hearing that garnered no public comment Tuesday night.

A 5-0 vote approved the changes. Ward 2 Alderman Chuck Gautier and Ward 4 Alderman Brian Ramsey were both absent. 

The amendments are to existing nonconforming restricted uses (section 40.03.B.3), two changes to swimming pools (section 180.05), and an item impacting convenience stores (section 600.14.F.89e).

Printed out copies of the full draft were available at the meeting.

Director of Community Development Alan Hart said during the public hearing that the first item would extend the registration deadline for existing nonconforming uses within the city from Feb. 4, 2022, to Aug. 4, 2022.

Hart noted that this item was primarily related to ongoing legislation with apartment buildings citywide. He said that many nonconforming uses he expected to be "eliminated by attrition" and that they had decided to extend the deadline on the recommendation of legal counsel, though as it is an ongoing legal matter, he had little else to add in the open meeting.

He said the next two amendments would add language to the portion of the zoning ordinance concerning swimming pools requiring a height of six feet and a separation of 10 feet between property lines or recorded easements and the rim of the swimming pool. Pools must also be behind the front line of the house.

"The mayor and board have expressed a need for safety. These will unify our standards for pools across zoning classifications," Hart said.

The final item will ensure that no grocery or convenience store is located within 2,000 linear feet from another. Distance will be measured by a single straight line from the front door to front door.

Hart said that based on their research this would not leave any existing stores nonconforming.

The vote was held following a public hearing. No residents were present.

Beyond Ward 3 Alderman Kevin Holder’s motion to approve the changes and Alderman-at-Large D.I. Smith’s second, the vote wasn’t discussed.

After the meeting, Mayor Gene F. McGee described the changes made as “positive for the city.”