Another Dispute Over Long Beach Problem Property - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

04/29/04

Another Dispute Over Long Beach Problem Property

The City of Long Beach is preparing to battle a familiar foe over a problem property.

Ronald Jefferson's salvage yard on Beatline Road is once again attracting complaints. His name is well known at Long Beach City Hall.

The property owner's long running dispute includes various court rulings, citizen complaints and conflicts over zoning laws.

The property borders busy Beatline Road. Ronald Jefferson has long argued he has every right to store construction materials on his property. Trouble is, the C-3 Neighborhood Commercial zoning doesn't allow such a use.

"If we have to keep on assessing property, then we'll just keep on assessing it," said Mayor Robert Bass.

The mayor says the "Jefferson saga" seems to run in cycles. The dispute flared up in recent weeks with additional dumping at the property.

"We are in the process of going back in court to see if we can't have the earlier judge's order reinforced with some type of contempt citation," he said.

A few years ago, former Chancery Judge J.N. Randle ruled against the owner and ordered a clean up.

"He actually went out on the property himself and told Mr. Jefferson, as I understand it, you get this property cleaned up or you're going to jail. And all of a sudden it got cleaned up. And if we have to get back to that again, despite whatever arguments we have to take, we'll do it again," the mayor asserted.

Ronald Jefferson couldn't be found. No listed phone number and no numbers or address were available at city hall.

WLOX News last interviewed him ten years ago, as he was taking issue with another judge's clean up order.

The run ins between the City of Long Beach and Ronald Jefferson over property issues date back more than 20 years ago. The city clerk told WLOX News she began working for the city back in 1983 and the disputes were already ongoing.

"We're going to continue to do what we need to do to keep that property in a manageable state," said the mayor

Ronald Jefferson is expected to make an appearance at this Tuesday's board of aldermen meeting. He's requested to be on the agenda to talk about a building permit which was denied last year. Concerns about his property on Beatline Road may also be discussed.

By Steve Phillips

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