PETAL, MS (WDAM) - A Petal business owner is frustrated with city officials as he works to stop his property from flooding.
“All this land here is lower than everything around it,” Jeffrey Sapp said of the land where his business is located.
Sapp has owned Revitalizations since 2013 in the heart of Petal. For many years he has faced flooding issues. In attempts to build up his property to a higher elevation to prevent the problems, he said he continues to be stopped by the city for code violations.
“Your permit did not get approved," Sapp said the city told him. “It’s supposed to give me what ordinance I’m against, the reason why it can’t be approved and it’s also supposed to give me ways to comply to get it approved.”
Sapp said he's been attempting to work with the city to find answers, but continues to get the run around from city leaders.
“The emails I’ve had with the mayor and the building department with the city of Petal, they are not going to allow me to build it up to the height for the elevation of surrounding properties, which I understand," Sapp said. "So, I started digging a detention pond. Now, they are telling me that’s against ordinance as well. But, even in the storm water ordinance it states that I’m allowed to have a detention pond on the lot.”
Sapp pointed out, “15.59. My lot is less than .9 of an acre. So, I do not have to submit anything to the city of Petal as storm water prevention plan or where the water needs to go as long as I’m not pushing it off onto the surrounding properties.”
“Unfortunately, the work he is trying to do could adversely affect his neighboring property owners,” Petal Mayor Hal Marx said.
Marx told WDAM the city has provided a response.
“We have told Mr. Sapp he cannot do what he is trying to do unless he has an engineer sign off on his plan," Marx said. "We told him the only way we can alter that is for him to come to a Board of Aldermen meeting so the aldermen can hear and possibly give him some type of exemption.”
“It’s just crazy they are pushing me to this point that I’m trying to do what they want me to do and they are not giving me the benefit of the day,” Sapp said
Sapp is a disabled veteran and due to his condition has requested a separate meeting with the board.
The mayor said all Board of Aldermen meetings must be open to the public.
The Petal Board of Aldermen meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 5.