raintree plantation subdivision sign

It doesn’t look good for a De Soto couple who want to build a storage facility on Hwy. B near the Raintree Plantation subdivision west of Hillsboro.

The Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-2 March 25 to recommend denial of a rezoning request that would allow the facility to be built in the 6000 block of Hwy. B, across the highway from the Raintree subdivision.

The Jefferson County Council, which has the sole authority to rezone property in unincorporated areas of the county, likely will consider the case at a meeting in April.

Jay and Diana Volsey of De Soto requested the rezoning from residential to commercial on three adjoining lots totaling 13.47 acres for what they would call Checkered Flag Storage.

The lots have two homes, one occupied and the other vacant, but most of the area is not developed and slopes down away from the highway.

According to the development plan, one of the homes would remain.

Jay Volsey said he bought the property last fall and wants to develop 60 spaces of uncovered storage for boats, recreational vehicles and equipment, plus 14 mini-warehouse storage buildings ranging from 2,000 square feet to 9,100 square feet.

Access to the site would be through the Raintree Market gas station across from Raintree’s main entrance.

The Raintree Plantation Property Owners Association sent an email supporting the Voyles’ plans.

“The board of directors (of the association) unanimously agree that it would benefit our residents, providing them a nearby place to store their boats and RVs,” the email read.

Four people who said they live near the site submitted e-mails opposing the project.

Mike Rudd said he was concerned about increased traffic in the area.

“This would be increasing traffic on a dangerous curve on Hwy. B that’s seen its share of accidents,” he wrote.

John Pogorzelski said he was worried about increased water runoff since his property is downhill from the site.

Volsey said two retention ponds have been planned on the downhill side of the property to collect stormwater runoff.

Planning commissioner Jessie Scherrer said he, too, is concerned about the curve on Hwy. B that includes the Raintree entrance.

“I don’t have a problem with a storage facility, but I would be opposed to any sort of commercial development there, simply because of the curve,” he said. “It’s dangerous in my opinion.”

Planning commissioners Tim Dugan, Danny Tuggle, Larry Adkins and Gene Barbagallo voted to recommend denial; planning commissioners Mike Huskey and Greg Bowers cast dissenting votes.