TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- The addition of some sixteen square miles from Lee County to the city of Tupelo comes with it new challenges for city officials and residents alike.
One of the things on that list: a zoning ordinance.
"We will then have the authority to regulate development, which is change in the use of land. Right now, without this zoning ordinance, we don't control that," city planner Pat Faulkner said.
Zoning laws affect what will be built in the future, not what's currently standing, according to Faulkner.
"I guess the change for people who've not been in an area that has a zoning ordinance is thinking that you've got to get permission to do everything. However, the truth is, when you live in a city where there are people on either side of you and each is affected by each other's property, it's in each other's interest that it's taken care of and done right," Faulkner said.
Some might confuse the zoning ordinance with code enforcement, which sometimes affects structures or property that appear unsightly.
Faulker says that's not the case here, and the new ordinance won't add that much red tape, just a building permit fee.
The city council is expected to adopt the new zoning ordinance at its next meeting.
Faulkner said they listened to public concerns to make sure the changes were well-received.
Once the zoning ordinance is adopted by the city council, it takes effect in 30 days.