TYLER, TX (KLTV) - James Haynes says his family has owned a one-acre plot of land located near the 2100 block of Bellwood Road in Tyler since 1936.
Since then the family has used the property for industrial purposes, leasing the land to different companies who have used it for unloading items off rail cars using the nearby tracks.
Now, the City of Tyler's Planning and Zoning Department says the land can no longer be used for that purpose.
"Since the land use has expired from the industrial standpoint it would have to come into compliance with the residential classification," says Kyle Kingma, Planning Manager for the City of Tyler.
Kingma says the property was initially grandfathered for industrial use after the annexation in 1948, but due to six months of discontinued use that grandfathering expired, according to city code.
Haynes says the property had been vacant while he was looking for a new tenant and that it couldn't possibly be used for residential purposes "there is no water, there is no sewer there, is no power to our property," says Haynes.
At a March 28 city council meeting, Haynes appealed the zoning board's decision, but residents from the area voiced their own concerns saying they believed it would be detrimental to their quality of life by causing increased rail traffic and air pollution.
The council upheld the boards decision, but Haynes says he isn't giving up that easy.
"Railroad tracks are key to the development of a city," says Haynes. "People that use trains to ship goods or receive goods need a location to unload them and that is obviously why the rail road built a spur to my property."
According to city code, a property owner has to wait six months after a zone change denial before they can reapply. Haynes says he plans on reapplying.