Jefferson County Commission

No Palm Reading and Fortune Telling: Quirk in Jefferson County Zoning Law Catches Commissioners’ Attention

Jefferson County Commissioner Lashunda Scales (Photo by Solomon Crenshaw Jr.)

Fortune telling and palmistry found their way into the discussion of the Jefferson County Commission’s committee meeting on Tuesday.

Among the zoning cases presented by Development Services was one in which the owners of an Oak Grove property sought a change to C-1 commercial zoning to allow for future commercial use. The agenda entry included several things for which the property could not be used, including private clubs, helistops, fortune telling and palm reading.

Not surprisingly, palm reading caught the attention of commissioners.

“What was the thinking behind the private clubs, fortune telling and palmistry, as in palm reading?” Commissioner Lashunda Scales asked.

Urban planner Michael Morrison. spoke during the July 9, 2024, Jefferson County Commission meeting. (Photo by Solomon Crenshaw Jr.)

Michael Morrison, an urban planner, explained that those land uses are included in the current zoning regulations. “Our zoning regulations are in need of some updating,” he said. “It’s some of the older language that’s prevalent in our zoning regulations.”

Josh Johnson, the director of Development Services, said that once the county has finished with its comprehensive rewrite of zoning laws for unincorporated Jefferson County, the language will be updated.

That was welcome news for Scales. “I would think we have a lot more bigger fish to fry than palm reading,” she said.

Earlier, commissioners moved to the agenda of Thursday’s meeting a resolution from the county manager’s office to use $221,310.97 of American Rescue Plan Act funds for the Birmingport Fire District. If approved, the money would be used to purchase an ambulance and equipment and pay for vehicle striping and medical supplies.

“This is part of that program that we had when we had our ambulances and the wait times that were getting so long that they were costing people’s lives,” Commission President Jimmie Stephens said. “I want to thank our fire districts and our municipalities for working together. The city of Fairfield was instrumental in working with us on that to get that done.”