Lafayette County Board of Supervisors come to agreement on J&J Wholesalers

Published 8:47 am Friday, July 28, 2017

After facing thousands in fines, being arrested and possibly having to close down his business, the owner of J&J Wholesalers received preliminary site plan approval from the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors during a special meeting Thursday.

In May, Building Inspector Joel Hollowell informed the Lafayette County Planning Commission that Ryan Jones, owner of J&J Wholesalers had been operating a business without a permit or a site plan for more than six months. The penalty for doing so is $50 per day and $100 per day, respectively, which means Jones was looking at a total fine of $27,300.

In September of last year, Jones was granted permission by the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors to build an 8,000-square foot building for personal use at a property he owns on Highway 7 North.

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According to Hollowell, it was discovered earlier this year that building has three automotive bays with two car lifts, several vehicles on-site and others parked along the shoulder of Highway 7. Jones also lives on the property and his wife operates a daycare out of the home. Jones tried to deny he was doing business on the property and only received his mail there; however, county leaders weren’t buying it.

The Lafayette County Building Code Board of Appeals denied Jones’s appeal against the county refusing to grant him a certificate of occupancy.

Hollowell told supervisors Thursday he’s been working with Jones to get the situation remedied.

Jones agreed to pay the county $9,000 within 90 days and use the remainder of the potential $27,000 fines in improving the site. He agreed to purchase a building permit immediately, which will begin the inspection process on the completion of the building. Within six months time, Jones will create a 3:1 slope on the south-side of the property and plant 15 minimum 10-gallon hardwood trees on the south line to help with erosion.

He must clean up, plant grass seeds and put hay on all exposed ground. Within one year’s time, he must pave his drive 18-feet wide with a minimum of 2-inch deep asphalt. The drive must extend from Highway 7 to the rear of his commercial building. He must concrete a section along the south side of his building extending 10 feet to connect to the asphalt drive.

All improvements will be inspected by Lafayette County inspectors.

If he pays the $9,000 within 90 days, the supervisors will drop the Justice Court charges against him for not having a building permit or an approved site plan.

The supervisors said they would vote on the preliminary site plan, which would get the ball rolling for the building inspections to begin so Jones can finally get a Certificate of Occupancy and that they’d consider the final plat in a year or before if all of the improvements are complete.

The supervisors voted 4 to 1 to approve the preliminary plat with Supervisor Kevin Frye dissenting.