Bascom Community Frustrated by Tobacco Warehouse

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Bascom- Mike Henry converted his pole barn into a warehouse, where neighbors complained he has been storing thousands of cartons of cigarettes that he's been selling to gas stations and other retailers. Neighbors declined to be directly quoted , but have spoken with Jackson County officials.

Jackson County Community Development Director, Joan Schairer explained the issue:

"A complaint was filed with code enforcement which is another department. And through code enforcement it was brought to us to see what the issue or how the issue could be addressed. That's how it all got brought up."

Although it didn't sound like much activity, Schairer compared the structure of Henry's operation to one of the region's biggest warehouse operations.

"On a very small- much smaller scale than a Family Dollar distribution, but it's still that type of warehouse. He has semi-trucks come in and they unload the warehouse goods and then he breaks them down so he can sell them to retail vendors."

It was not the noise or business Schairer said she had an issue with. It was the violation of code enforcement.

"Joyce and Michael Henry requested a land use change to the future land use map of the Jackson County comprehensive plan. They want to change a 0.64 acre parcel to commercial use" she explained.

After reviewing the request, Schairer said it was incompatible.

"The parcel is surrounded by either residential single family homes, or agricultural uses. Which are all fine under agriculture two land use, that's not an issue. The problem is that there's no other industrial, or for that matter commercial near by."

Despite Schairer's recommendation, Jackson County Commissioners tabled the issue at the last board meeting. They planned to take up the issue again on August 3.

The Henry's refused to comment on the issue.

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