The three newest members of Madison's Planning and Zoning Commission are Terry McMullen, Nelwyn Madison and Bruce Bartley.
The three newest members of Madison's Planning and Zoning Commission are Terry McMullen, Nelwyn Madison and Bruce Bartley.
MADISON — Three new members have joined the Madison Planning & Zoning Commission to provide guidance in overseeing the city’s master plan for development.

Bruce Bartley of Calumet subdivision, Nelwyn Madison of Ingleside and Terry McMullen of Geneva Gardens complete the 12-member board that handles all issues related to the city’s zoning ordinance. The commission, appointed by the Board of Aldermen, considers subdivisions, site plans for commercial development, variances, special exceptions, rezonings and changes to the Zoning Ordinance. Members vote to send recommendations on projects to Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler and the Board of Aldermen. 

“The P&Z board is the first line of defense to protect the investment of property owners in Madison,” said Bartley, who works as the director of public relations for the Mississippi Department of Revenue. “Board members are appointed by the mayor and Board of Aldermen to help keep Madison the city we love. Mayor Mary has always valued quality over quantity, and so do our property owners. We, as board members, take that responsibility very seriously.”

Commission members appreciate the responsibility they assume when they take the oath of their office, said Madison, president of Ingleside Homeowners Association. “Every commercial building plan must pass muster for the city’s master plan and zoning laws, and the P&Z is the watchdog.”

The P&Z board plays a significant role in ensuring Madison’s quality of life, she said. “Aside from having an extremely dedicated mayor, the P&Z is probably the most important contributor to maintaining high standards for appearance and quality of life.”

Madison said most residents may not appreciate the role of the commission in the city.

“The P&Z Board looks at every new business and every entity submitting building plans and/or requesting any zoning modifications within the city limits of Madison. It is important for maintaining the overall appearance of the city, in both business and residential sections, assessing the movement of traffic, the effect of any commercial development on surrounding residential areas and protecting the convenience, safety and property values of persons dependent on the city for such protections.”

McMullen, who previously served on the commission from 2003-2006, said he was eager to serve on P&Z again after moving back into the city last year.

“I think the P&Z, being represented by concerned residents from every area within the city, provides keen knowledge of how a particular development or variance will affect each area,” said McMullen, a retiree who sits on his homeowners’ association board.

“The P&Z serves as a filter to uphold Madison’s strict zoning code and development plan,” he said.

The commission’s role is to represent the best interests of the residents, Bartley said.

“One of the main reasons people live in Madison is strong property values. Our role on the P&Z board is to do what we can to help ensure Madison citizens’ property values continue to grow. We must make good decisions on all forms of development and growth —commercial, retail and residential. That is our obligation on the P&Z board,” he said.

Madison, a retiree who stays busy with family, church and neighborhood activities, said she gave careful consideration and prayer to accept an alderman’s recommendation that she join the commission.

 “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to add any more to a nearly full cup.  This discernment led me to the decision to join this important endeavor to help keep Madison the City the very best it can be.”

As an Ambassador for Madison the City Chamber of Commerce and a former local business owner, Bartley said he appreciates the vision that the mayor has for the city and how the P&Z board works on behalf of that vision.

“There is no question that our city has a bright future ahead, and I hope I can help in some small way. I was honored when the mayor asked me to serve on the P&Z board,” he said.

Other members of the P&Z board are Lynn Wentworth, Hal Ellison, Dick Durgin, Steve Phillips, Ted Allgood, Pam Cotton, John Reeves, Cindy Keller and Marcy Croft. The commission meets the second Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Madison Justice Complex.