Another push for gated communities has passed in the Capital City. Council members approved an ordinance with more stipulations for neighborhoods wanting to reduce traffic and crime.
Rounds of applause and a standing ovation followed the Jackson City Council's passage of an amended gate ordinance. It established procedures for the erection of public access gates.
Residents packed the council chambers urging city leaders to support the ordinance introduced by Ward One Councilman Ashby Foote. Many expressed the need for gates to stop speeding, cut through traffic and crime.
"We're not here to separate. We're here to stay. It's not about race, as I've heard some people talk about. We already have a community as the song says of Ebony and Ivory," Northpointe subdivision resident William Burk told the council. "We are the people who want to stay here. We want to make Jackson strong. We want to keep it strong. We are desperately asking for your help".
"As the people continue to feel unsafe, they're going to leave," said Jackson resident Lynn Coleman. "Allowing public access gates will benefit the entire city, not just a select few. Anybody can apply".
Northpointe Parkway residents told city leaders they want gates to stop high traffic and speeding by motorists who use it as a short cut from County Line Road to Old Canton Road.
Gates were approved in 2011 for the Avery Gardens subdivision.
This ordinance passed five to two. Ward Three Councilman Kenneth Stokes and Ward Four Councilman De'Keither Stamps opposed the measure.
"We've got to listen to the minority, and if the minority said we shouldn't have gates, just because you're outnumbered doesn't make it right," said Stokes. "I understand crime and the fear of crime and wanting to make sure I'm safe, but gates are not the answer".
"I don't look at this as a racial issue or anything like that because folks up here who live in the gated neighborhoods are black," said Stamps. "I just think there's more that we can do to make this process better".
The ordinance will allow neighborhood associations to apply for gated entrances by submitting design requirements and meeting other criteria which will ultimately being voted on by the council.
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