Fairview Inn Restaurant in Jeopardy | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Fairview Inn Restaurant in Jeopardy

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The Fairview Inn has lost its fight to keep the zoning designation that allowed it to run its business in a residential Jackson neighborhood.

A restaurant at the Fairview Inn on Fairview Street could close to the public if a recent ruling by the Mississippi Supreme Court stands. On Thursday, the high court ruled 6-3 that a 2004 city zoning amendment allowing a public restaurant at the inn constituted "spot zoning" and was thus illegal.

Peter Sharp, who owns and operates the Belhaven bed-and-breakfast with his wife Tamar, said today that attorneys representing the Inn and the city will likely ask the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision.

"The lawyers are meeting tomorrow, but I think they will do that."

Attorneys have 10 days to ask the Supreme Court to reconsider. In the meantime, Sophia's Restaurant at the Inn will remain "in full operation," Sharp said.

The restaurant has attracted the ire of some neighbors since 2003, when then-owners Bill and Carol Simmons began marketing the bed-and-breakfast's restaurant to the general public. The inn's zoning classification allowed for "social gatherings," and the owners argued that serving dinner to guests who had made reservations fit that description.

The city initially warned the couple that their restaurant violated the inn's zoning, but after meeting with the couple, city officials changed their tune and said that "social gatherings" could include a dinner reserved ahead of time. Then, in early 2004, at the request of the Simmonses, the City Council unanimously passed two zoning amendments. The first created a new classification for a bed-and-breakfast with a public restaurant, and the second exempted the Fairview from applying for a special use permit.

Four neighbors of the Inn, Anita and Mark Modak-Truran, and Daniel and Katherine Baker, then sued the city, arguing that the changes were "spot zoning" aimed at changing zoning rules for a single property, without regard to the surrounding community.

"It seems like the Simmonses tried to use more political influence on the city to get them to use this alternative procedure," Mark Modak-Truran said.

In addition to owning the Inn, Bill Simmons was national director of the Citizens Council, a precursor to the pro-white Council of Conservative Citizens, for many years.

Then-Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby Delaughter, who recently pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI as part of the Scruggs judicial bribery scandal, ruled against the neighbors in 2007. The four, all of whom are lawyers and representing themselves, then appealed to the state Supreme Court.

"We still support Fairview in terms of the bed-and-breakfast," Mark Modak-Truran said. "I always put up my colleagues from other universities there when they're coming into town. It's just that when you look at the addition of a full-service restaurant serving alcohol in a residential neighborhood—there are good reasons why if you were going to do that you'd have to be in a commercial zone or get a special use permit."

Peter and Tamar Sharp bought the Inn from the Simmonses in August 2006.

"We knew the suit was pending, but we didn't think that it was going to go this way," Sharp said.

Modak-Truran said that he regrets the tension the case has caused and that he feels badly for the Sharps.

"Unfortunately they didn't create this situation," Modak-Truran said. "They inherited it."

Sharp worries about the restaurant's future if it cannot serve the public.

"It would have a very negative effect on us," Sharp said. "With 18 rooms, the average guests a night for dinner may be 8 or 10 people. How do you sustain a wait staff and a kitchen staff on that type of revenue?"

Updated Aug. 17 to correct the Fairview Inn's street.

Previous Comments

ID
150929
Comment

This family (the Sharps) are class acts and run a fine establishment. Damn neighbors with nothing better to do with their time and educations! It's not like Sophia's is swamped with people every meal. Hell, there's more traffic there for a wedding than any given day of the restaurant. If you made it out to Saturday's open house/picnic, you would have seen first hand what a gem the Fairview AND Sophia's (and nomispa) is to Belhaven and Jackson, MS. Leave them the [email protected]*k alone, Truran, and stop playing all innocent in this. You could get it dropped if you wanted to. "I feel bad for them...they inherited this." Please! I'm passionate about the Fairview because I see a couple here who came from Florida, and shortly after, lost their son to cancer, and have pushed and thrived and made this beautiful place what it is. Truran says his concern centers around "serving alcohol in a residential neighborhood"? Pick any house on that street and tell me the residents have never come out of their PRIVATE home after a drink or two and driven. There are bigger issues in Jackson to fight against (or stand up for) Mr. Truran. Take your money, your passion, and your degree, and do something GOOD for our city!

Author
2599
Date
2009-08-17T12:48:36-06:00
ID
150931
Comment

After reading this again, i am wondering, Ward, why drag up Simmonses negative connections to the pro white organization? I understand frame of reference, but c'mon, that has NOTHING to do with this or the Sharps. It would be like saying David Duke used to stay there when he visited Jackson (and I'm not implying he ever did, just using that as a point). What does that have to do with anything???

Author
2599
Date
2009-08-17T12:53:48-06:00
ID
150934
Comment

2599, I'll answer that. Jackson went way too many years without ever talking about Simmons' past. It was as if there was a media blackout on it. I remember when the Simmonses lobbied for the restaurant, so many people turned out in their support for a special zoning exemption. Many of those people did not know it was the same Simmons who ran the Citizens Councils of America, which helped lead boycotts on any business that didn't go along with segregation. When we shared that information then, it gave pause to many of the people who were trying to get them a special permit. This building is filled with history, and it doesn't make sense to leave that history out of stories about it. That doesn't mean that history is tied to the Sharp family, of course. As someone who used to live across and just down the street from it, I was very relieved when it was sold. This is a tough situation. The restaurant does bring a different type of commerce to the street than the B&B does and, of course, the neighbors should have a say in whether or not they want that there. I also like that it provides a nice restaurant venue in a residential area -- mixed use, if you will. I will say that I predicted then that this ruling might not stand. The bottom line is that the zoning probably needs to be changed, rather than just seeking special exemptions.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-17T13:11:47-06:00
ID
150936
Comment

ok, fair enough for context. i just hate for some of our "backwards thinking" jacksonians tying that to the Sharps, present day. and you know there are many who would, even though it has NOTHING to do with the current issue. i hope you are implying the zoning change should should favor the sharps. because it should. yes, it brings a different crowd into the neighborhood, but so do weddings (where many have been drinking when they leave AND add to the traffic issues.) i will say this, though: with the HUGE turnout they had Saturday (and that isn't exaggeration to say), traffic was NOT an issue AT ALL.

Author
2599
Date
2009-08-17T13:20:40-06:00
ID
150937
Comment

It's fine to mention Simmons, but why not add more information about the Sharps, who are wonderful folks. It is they, not Simmons, who are adversely impacted by this ruling. They have built the Fairview into something that all Jacksonians can be proud of. They are very committed to the Jackson community, moving here from Florida to invest, literally, in Jackson. From what I hear, the two complaining couples are practically alone in this - the Belhaven neighborhood Association supports the restaurant. This all comes to down to their not wanting cars legally parked on their street. I don't think Jackson can afford this kind of NIMBYism.

Author
Stuart Rockoff
Date
2009-08-17T13:25:44-06:00
ID
150940
Comment

It's fine to mention Simmons, but why not add more information about the Sharps, who are wonderful folks. It sounds like you're doing just that, Stuart. ;-) And I know you understand the importance of history, considering what you do, and know that mentioning the history of a building and the person who created the issue in the first place is not a reflection on the current owners. They did inherit the problem--which seemed to come about in the first place from an innkeeper who was used to getting his way in Jackson. Sadly, I don't think this issue is really about NIMBYism*; I think it's pretty straightforward a law problem. We said back when it came up the first time that they should have been lobbying to change the zoning, not just get an exemption for their own business because that wasn't likely to be sustainable, especially when someone else couldn't get the same exemption -- the old fairness problem. That is probably still good advice today, no matter who owns the Fairview now. And I sure don't envy them the chore of dealing with the karma they inherited. (*For those who don't recognize the NIMBY term, it stands for Not In My Back Yard, and is usually used in cases of well-to-do people not wanting social services in their communities because they don't want their property values to fall or be around "those" people. Leave it to Mississippi to come up with a "NIMBY" project that involves an upscale restaurant! ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-17T14:15:03-06:00
ID
150941
Comment

i hope you are implying the zoning change should should favor the sharps. because it should. Actually, I'm not saying one way or the other. This is one of those issues where we've never taken a position on the zoning part -- other than trying to warn people that an exemption was shortsighted (and, thus, have been proved correct). At the time they did it, Simmons ran it, and I sure didn't feel he was owed any favors. It's one of those rare issues that really does seem to have two solid sides to it, and I see them both, and don't believe either side should be demonized: the Sharps or the Modak-Trurans. yes, it brings a different crowd into the neighborhood, but so do weddings (where many have been drinking when they leave AND add to the traffic issues.) True on the wedding issues. We had to pick many beer bottles up out of our yard when we lived over there after weddings and parties at the Fairview. And we often wouldn't be able to park in front of our own house due to traffic there, and that was before the restaurant. And we'd have big buses burning exhaust in front of our place sometimes then. One good thing about the neighbors' opposition: It forced the Simmonses to at least try to control what was going on better and understand that they couldn't just do anything they wanted. They started being more neighborly after that. I don't live over there any more so I can't speak to how it is now. So I'm pretty much where I was then: There are two sides to this, and there is probably a compromise to be found. I doubt the compromise involves a special exemption. It probably involves a change in zoning that allows certain kinds of businesses and the regulation and community-response period that goes along with that.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-17T14:25:37-06:00
ID
150953
Comment

It's one of those rare issues that really does seem to have two solid sides to it, and I see them both, and don't believe either side should be demonized: the Sharps or the Modak-Trurans. i think "demonized" is a very loaded word. but let's look at who is playing both sides here. the trurans seem sympathetic in the article saying they "feel bad for the sharps." it doesn't look to me that they feel too bad, though, or else they wouldn't continue to push this. i'm no legal expert, but couldn't they have had this dropped, or pushed for jackson to create that special zoning. they may have had beef with simons (could they have, because of his involvements with that group you mention him a part of?) but couldn't they now push for the sharps, and put their muscle behind doing something positive for jackson? ladd, you said that you no longer lived there so you couldn't speak of the current state of affairs, but i heard the number there saturday was over 300, and i was there toward the end. i didn't see litter, illegally parked cars, or anything else that was out of the ordinary or disruptive.

Author
2599
Date
2009-08-17T20:55:23-06:00
ID
150954
Comment

and i'll agree with stuart that there could have been a larger focus on the more recent history of the inn - including the efforts the sharps have put into making it what it is today.

Author
2599
Date
2009-08-17T20:56:29-06:00
ID
150960
Comment

t doesn't look to me that they feel too bad, though, or else they wouldn't continue to push this. I disagree with you there. This legal question should be out of the hands of either side at this point. The courts should determine whether or not zoning exemptions are allowed, and give instructions on whether what is needed is a zoning change. Otherwise, the whole thing will be patchwork and depend on the force of the personalities involved. As for events there, it always depended on the crowd itself. Many were respectful; others just ignored the signs that showed them where to park and such. My impression has been that the Sharps are more attuned to the needs of the n'hood than were the Simmonses when they ran it; they came across as annoyed that the neighbors would dare challenge what they were doing. But I can't speak to it recently either way. It has ended up where it would and should: In the courts to determine whether the zoning exemption was done properly in the first place, and what kind of precedence should be set. Like I said, this was predictable, and I agree with the Modak-Trurans that it's unfortunate that the Sharps inherited the problem the Simmonses created.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-18T09:33:34-06:00
ID
150975
Comment

It's not like some learned Judge simply reviewed the trial court transcript and decided to reverse and render the decision in favor of the plaintiffs. Someone had to pay for the appeal; someone had to write all the appellate briefs; someone had to go argue the appeal in front of the Supreme Court panel. Most of the plaintiffs are attorneys at large law firms and represented themselves. They could have withdrawn the appeal at any time; they could have failed to submit a brief; they could have failed to appear at oral argument. They clearly did not feel so badly for the Sharps, as they forced them to spend thousands in legal fees for the trial and for the appeal. Ironically, the spot zoning "precedence" (I'm sure you mean precedent) would only hurt plans to offer mixed use neighborhoods. Pretty disappointing that you can't have a lightly used restaurant just feet from the North State Street commercial corridor.

Author
QB
Date
2009-08-18T13:19:17-06:00
ID
151004
Comment

Good stuff, QB...and my point exactly.

Author
2599
Date
2009-08-18T17:17:31-06:00
ID
151005
Comment

QB, I'm not saying you can't have the restaurant there. The law does, however, and that's the issue here. Thanks for correcting my hurried misspelling of precedent, but you can't skate over the fact that it is an issue in this case. My point is not against the Sharps; it is saying to rally the community to lobby to get the laws more friendly to mixed-use zoning if that's what you want to see, rather than relying on special favors. It's kinda basic. As for "feet from" North State Street, recall that the Fairview Inn and its environs take up most of that block. It is surrounded by residential on three sides, including the two longest sides. If you're going to argue that it needs a zoning exemption, do that based on a real argument -- not a fake one that it's not somehow a huge part of a residential neighborhood. It is. And it's in a position to be a big disruption if the owners do not run it well (which it sounds like the current ones do). I'll say it again: This wasn't done well in the first place, and the Sharps inherited a problem. But that does not mean that *either side* should be demonized. I personally believe that every side in the debate has the interests of the city at heart. I hope it can be worked out in a way that makes more sense than the way the Simmonses finagled it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-18T18:25:37-06:00
ID
151006
Comment

Donna writes: "My point is not against the Sharps; it is saying to rally the community to lobby to get the laws more friendly to mixed-use zoning if that's what you want to see, rather than relying on special favors. It's kinda basic." I was going to weigh in on this, but I would have taken two pages to get around to what you just said better anyway. I have nothing against the Sharps. I don't know the Sharps and I don't know much about the Sharps. I assume they're good people because I've only heard good things about them. But I have a sneaking suspicion that a black-owned restaurant with a predominantly black, working-class clientele would not be allowed by the larger neighborhood community to operate in the same location as the Fairview Inn, and that's what's wrong with spot-zoning. For a good example of what happens when selective zoning is used to control which businesses and organizations can operate in a given community, we need look no further than the Madison mosque controversy. The law does need to be changed to allow the Fairview Inn, but not as a special case. That way lies redlining.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-08-18T19:39:18-06:00
ID
151010
Comment

I think part of our disagreement, Tom and ladd, is that I don't see this as a "legal" issue per se. The Plaintiffs in this case aren't some crusaders of justice who will file suit to enforce zoning laws and prohibit spot zoning. Instead, they are people who don't want to live across the street from a B&B , spa, event facility, and restaurant. They picked the easiest target - the restaurant - in an effort to shut the whole operation down. A smart move. But this simply isn't a case of a liquor store being opened next to a school. It's not a factory in the middle of Belhaven. It is of a nature that fits in with the character of the surrounding area.

Author
QB
Date
2009-08-19T07:52:49-06:00
ID
151012
Comment

QB, this is a legal issue. All who have addressed the problem understand it's legal ramifications; however, it is so unfortunate for the now owners who have spent so much time and money into making Fairview a class act. This is the kind of business that earns the City's last slogan of "Best of the New South." Now, let's examine the issue from the stand point of homeowners who never in their wildest dream would imagine a full scale restaurant in their front door. I understand this. I also understand that the law is not on the side of the defendants and it should not be. It must be blind. There are two solutions to this problem: 1. Change the law and if that doesn't hapen - obey the law. 2. Engage the home-owners is some type of creative venture where there is a Win-Win situation for everyone. There are but a few homes on that street. Instead of it being "Fairview Inn", the Welcome Sign would read, "Welcome to the INNS of Fairview." Just thinking.

Author
justjess
Date
2009-08-19T09:18:44-06:00
ID
151017
Comment

Yes, justjess, it sounds like a bit of Iroquois Talking Sticking is in order. ;-) And QB, you're way over the line about the opposition to the restaurant. They've made it clear that they're not against the B&B you do not have the right or standing to speak on their behalf and make accusations you can't know are true. So don't use this site for that kind of trash. And I rather doubt you help the Sharps any in the public eye by acting out like that, and it is not welcome here. Play like an adult or move on.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-19T10:16:44-06:00
ID
151037
Comment

is QB trash talking? i think s/he is making an observation. yes, s/he and i see this from the same point of view, but i don't see any contentious behavior. why call him/her out? this may, at the end of the day, simply be a legal issue. and it's one the sharps are unfortunately having to fight for. but as i have said before, this is being pursued by the trurans and could have been put to rest with a neighborhood agreement/proposition to change the zoning law (with the trurans advocating in that regard.) they aren't asking that the zoning law be changed. they are trying to shut down the restaurant. period. and don't tell me they didn't have to submit a brief, show up for orals, or otherwise put effort into continually pursuing this. i'm no lawyer, but i know that much.

Author
2599
Date
2009-08-19T16:43:09-06:00
ID
151040
Comment

This is trash talk and unsubstantiated allegation, 2599: Instead, they are people who don't want to live across the street from a B&B, spa, event facility, and restaurant. They picked the easiest target - the restaurant - in an effort to shut the whole operation down. Out of line.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-19T18:07:37-06:00
ID
151042
Comment

i've seen worse assumptions made on this board. opinions, substantiated or not, are going to be shared, no? btw, had lunch at sophia's today. i sure hope they get to stick around. it was my first visit and i'd like to return.

Author
2599
Date
2009-08-19T19:46:42-06:00
ID
151048
Comment

Why does it matter who brought this up or why? It's spot-zoning, and spot-zoning is an invitation to redlining. The Mississippi Supreme Court showed a rare bit of good sense by ruling the way it did.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-08-19T21:26:29-06:00
ID
151053
Comment

Thank you 2599. I'm not trying to step on anyone's toes. My assumptions are due to my experiences with this type of situation. The Fairview has been very gracious to an organization of which I am a member, which is why I am sticking up for it. In any case, it looks like Margaret Barrett-Simon will push to pass appropriate ordinances to allow the continued operation of the Fairview.

Author
QB
Date
2009-08-20T08:48:01-06:00
ID
151054
Comment

2599, you need to learn the difference between opinion and accusations or, worse, stating things about other people as fact. We journalists have to learn that quickly. What you said that I quoted three posts above is not stated as opinion; it's stated as fact. You can't do that without it being substantiated. That is over the line, and the childish fingerpointing about stuff you've supposedly "seen" here is irrelevant. Take personal responsibility for your own posts, please, and self-regulate that kind of stuff out if you want to post here. I won't let anyone say that kind of stuff about you, unsubstantiated, either, for the record.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-20T08:50:15-06:00
ID
151055
Comment

QB, it sounds like Barrett-Simon has her head on straight and it trying to deal with this without demonizing the neighbors of the business. Class act.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-20T08:51:28-06:00
ID
151056
Comment

I have never eaten at the restaraunt there but have attended a few functions and it seems the parking for guests is relatively unobtrusive. On the other hand, I also sympathize with the neighbors and can very well imagine times when having a commercial establishment across the street wouldn't be welcome. Hopefully the Jackson leaders can work out an agreement between the interested parties that doesn't result in a closure of the business.

Author
GLewis
Date
2009-08-20T09:05:55-06:00
ID
151059
Comment

That's it exactly, GLewis. This isn't a situation where either "side" is wrong, or should be demonized. A smart compromise is needed, and efforts to strengthen the law in a fair way that doesn't play favorites.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-20T10:17:07-06:00
ID
151066
Comment

Those of us who "know" the Sharps are passionate about protecting their interests and what they contribute to the city. I guess this is where the argument comes from (with all due respect). Ladd, QB (nor any of us here but you) are journalists. We are free to state our opinions (in my humble opinion) without the worry of journalistic bias being alleged. I know all too well how allegations can damage a life (or multiple lives). But no one's saying the Trurans did anything criminal here. It's a matter of opinion. If QB had said "in my opinion, this looks like", would he have been in the right then? Let's be honest, there is alot of trash talking on this board. It's not the CL boards, thank goodness, but nevertheless. Opinion forums lead to passionate feelings. Until something is alleged that is slanderous or criminal, without substantiated facts, aren't we entitled to be passionate about our observations??

Author
2599
Date
2009-08-20T13:38:51-06:00
ID
151068
Comment

2599, with due respect, you are here because we invite you to be. You have to follow our user agreement. It's not journalistic bias I'm concerned about; you're potentially committing libel by stating unsubstantiated facts about other people -- we're not talking about committing a criminal act. That's not the same as opinion; and saying it is your opinion that it's true is not a defense. ;-) You don't seem to understand the meaning of "trash talk" as I'm using it, and seem unwilling to examine why the statement I called out of yours is different from others here, including your other statements. I'm in a the business of knowing the difference. You're going to have to trust me on this one and heed my warning to continue posting on this site. Meantime, this is where this argument ends. Part of our user agreement, if you will note, is that we do not allow complaints about the moderation to derail conversations on another topic (such as this one about the Fairview). Thus, please do not try to continue this side argument, as future posts will be deleted without comment. So don't waste your time, or mine.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-20T16:51:26-06:00
ID
151069
Comment

Actually, another poster made the statement and I was was trying to defend him. But that's not relevant, I guess. Point made. Point taken. Any new word on what Barrett-Simon has been able to accomplish in her advocacy for the Fairview?

Author
2599
Date
2009-08-20T16:59:55-06:00
ID
151071
Comment

Thanks, 2599. Not sure on Barrett-Simon, yet. I'm guessing Ward will follow up. Reporters have a lot of balls in the air right now, and this one isn't the most urgent one, news wise. I do hope it works out well for everyone, though.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-20T17:14:37-06:00
ID
151542
Comment

http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20090903/NEWS/909030352/Court-ruling-may-close-restaurant The Plaintiffs' comments in this article made my argument. Ladd, you said earlier that "They've made it clear that they're not against the B&B ." Well, please read their opposition to the city's motion to reconsider. "Unruly and disruptive patrons" of the Fairview? Their examples of that type of behavior are directly related to the plaintiffs' own attempts to shut down the allegedly "high density commercial uses." (The plaintiffs' [mis]characterization of the Fairview). Your entire argument is premised on the assumption that the plaintiffs merely want to overturn the City Council's allowing the Fairview to operate a restaurant. This filing shows their true colors, that they want to shut down this "high density commercial use." Now they've gone and upset the bridge club. I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.

Author
QB
Date
2009-09-03T09:51:51-06:00
ID
151545
Comment

QB, I got those documents last night but haven't had time to read them. (More urgent stories at hand.) But without having read it, I'm guessing that the neighbors must be basing their arguments on something; I have seen in the past (before current owners) "unruly and disruptive" crowds there, but I can't know now. I don't live over there any more. My suggestion here is not to take sides too easily. I know one of the plaintiff couples, and they are good people. I see no reason to assume that the neighbors have evil intent or are lying. I am pro-local business, but I am also pro-peaceful neighborhoods. My whole point is that I have not taken a side, and am open to all sides to the extent that I have time to think about this. You've clearly taken sides. I know you're an attorney; are you involved in this in any way? It would be transparent to tell us that, if so, and you could still make your arguments. Otherwise, as I've said, I'm neutral. But I won't allow personal attacks of either the neighbors or the business owners on this site. The Ledger and the local tablogs have little beyond personal attacks in their comments, so go there if that's what you're into.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-09-03T10:04:14-06:00
ID
151547
Comment

I am not involved in this dispute in any way other than what I already disclosed - the Fairview has been generous to a nonprofit of which I am a board member.

Author
QB
Date
2009-09-03T10:22:08-06:00
ID
151551
Comment

I mean what is the big deal. It's 100 +/- feet from North State not like in the middle of Belhaven. I mean the thing is four star upper upscale.Whose propety values aren't going up in that block.

Author
atlntaexile
Date
2009-09-03T11:32:36-06:00
ID
151559
Comment

"Many of those people did not know it was the same Simmons who ran the Citizens Councils of America, which helped lead boycotts on any business that didn't go along with segregation. When we shared that information then, it gave pause to many of the people who were trying to get them a special permit." Point of inquiry, Donna: are you claiming that supporters of the Fairview actually contacted you personally, told you that you were the first person to tell them about Bill Simmons' political past, and that those people then were conflicted over your information? Also, are you insinuating through your comment, that you "broke" this material, and were responsible for the core group of supporters awareness of same? If you answer in the affirmative, I would like to hear a little more about that if you are willing to share. I'll tell you why if you respond to my inquiry.

Author
Belhaven
Date
2009-09-03T13:23:03-06:00
ID
151562
Comment

No hard and fast answer, Belhaven. A good number of people told me they didn't know about his past when they had supported the inn in the first place until they read my comments about it. And I'm not insinuating anything, so no need to sound so ominous. ;-) I couldn't have really broken the material, considering that it was an open secret all those years. I did, however, write about it when it seemed no one else was talking about it, and as a result some people learned about it who didn't seem to know, or at least so they said. It was as the other media pointedly avoiding it from what I could tell. That's about all there is to share about it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-09-03T13:40:46-06:00
ID
151564
Comment

a curious side note about Belhaven: I know you've all heard about "The Help". It's number three on the NYT best seller today. OK that said, all of my friends and biz associates know I am from Jackson and all of them are reading that book. This AM I emailed the pic of the hotel that was in the clarion to several of these readers. They responded like "wow"...it's real. Fairview is mentioned in the book as are several Jackson landmarks.I'm kinda an ambassador for Jackson now (always was though). OK behave.

Author
atlntaexile
Date
2009-09-03T14:03:35-06:00
ID
151565
Comment

For me it doesn't matter what the plaintiffs' motives are and I certainly have nothing against the defendants; I ate at the Fairview for the first time Sunday for brunch. This is is a zoning issue. If this was a case of spot-zoning, spot-zoning is too dangerous from a civil rights perspective because it would allow neighbors to define a business with black clientele as "disruptive" and a business with white clientele as not in a way that would lead to redlining. I can also sympathize with the defendants, and the practical advantage of having a restaurant there, and just wanting to stay in business. I don't see any VILLAINS here, I just see a very grave mistake made re: how the site was zoned and I hope it can be resolved fairly in some fashion that still allows the restaurant to stay open. If it can't be, then no, spot-zoning is just as wrong if the owners are nice and the food is good and the neighbors don't mind. Sorry.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-09-03T14:13:51-06:00
ID
151568
Comment

I agree with Tom straight ahead. I sure wasn't going out on any limb for Bill Simmons when he had the inn regardless of the legal issues. But these days under new owns, I have no emotion attached in any direction. It is a legal issue, pure and simple. And the courts and city need to get it sorted out so it ends, and everyone knows what the rules are going forward. My entire point here is that no one is to use this site to villianize either side. It's petty, and it's beneath most of you. As far as I can see, there are good people on both sides, and ad hominem attacks are ridiculous. Because this issue seems to bring out the worst in many people, going forward, I will put you into "moderate" mode if you post a personal attack here, and I will delete any comments that contain personal attacks toward either side without further comment. So them's the rules. Live with them.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-09-03T14:37:49-06:00
ID
151589
Comment

Donna, I don't normally blog, but I respect the way you handle your blog and keep it to the issues. To clear up any misunderstanding by fellow bloggers, our position is as follows: 1. No problem with the Fairview Inn Bed and Breakfast. We recommend the Fairview Inn Bed and Breakfast to business guests and family members. My parents have stayed at the inn countless times and love it. A friend asked a few weeks ago if it was okay to put up the granddaughter of the Warner Brothers clan at the Fairview Inn, and I said absolutely. It's a beautiful inn. So let's be clear, the Modak-Trurans and the Bakers have no problems at all with the Bed and Breakfast and are not trying to put the Fairview Inn out of business. 2. No problem with the Sharps. Lovely people, but they inherited this problem. They purchased the inn knowing that there was litigation pending. They should have been informed that there was a very good chance that we would win. 3. Lots of problems with the terms of the legislation passed in favor of the Fairview Inn. The Fairview Inn Amendments greatly expand the use from a small bed and breakfast with a sporadic social event into a full scale restaurant (not the "small restaurant" being blogged about). Under the City of Jackson's zoning scheme, a full scale restaurant is allowed in a C3 district, but NOT in an R-2 district. A full scale restaurant operation is incompatible with an R-2 designation. That's what the Mississippi Court has held. Indeed, all of zoning law is based on protecting the residential zones. See Euclid. 4. Lots of problems with the manner in which the City of Jackson enacted the Fairview Inn Amendments. Over the negative recommendation of the City of Jackson's Planning Board, the City Council of Jackson pushed forward on legislation that favored one business over all others. That's not right. That law is unconstitutional. 5. The future: We, of course, are always available to discuss solutions for the future and to see if there is a way to work out the issues. We haven't been invited to participate in the process. Ms. Barrett-Simon never wanted our input, and refused to meet with us despite repeated attempts. In sum, bloggers may not like our position, and that I can respect. But we are entitled to protect our home, and we are doing so within our legal rights. Anita Modak-Truran

Author
amtruran
Date
2009-09-03T18:39:59-06:00
ID
151594
Comment

I was in New Orleans the other day, and commented to my friend who lives there that the most wonderful thing about the city was no matter where you lived, you could just walk outside, take a few steps, and in no time be enjoying dinner somewhere. It is like having an extra kitchen and dining room that you never have to clean up for those days that you don't feel like it! There aren't too many places in Jackson that have that same feature- I would think that it would be something that you would embrace. Maybe they should give you a "buy one, get one free" coupon on a monthly basis for putting up with the parking, but other than that... If you should happen to lose this thing, would you consider a trade? We have a nice little house in Madison- the only thing that is wrong with it is that you have to drive to dine out, drive to go to the store or pharmacy, even have to drive somewhere else if you want to take a walk- no sidewalks and no enforced leash laws...

Author
Rico
Date
2009-09-04T08:27:48-06:00

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