The Panolian reports that the board of aldermen's setting of the public hearing brings to full circle an odyssey that began in 2008 when aldermen voted 3-2 to grant a variance to allow mining at the site.
Scott and Mona Harrison, who live near the area where the pit would be located along Mississippi Highway 35, appealed the city's decision.
After a Panola County judge sided with the city, the Harrisons appealed again. Last fall, the state Court of Appeals reversed the circuit court's decision, finding the city's action constituted "illegal spot zoning."
The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled this month that it could not determine from the record of the case how the city reached the conclusion that the gravel pit would be legal.
The court told aldermen to start over and allow opponents and Memphis Stone to present evidence to support their positions. The court said aldermen could then provide more specifics on whatever conclusion it reached.
Mayor Jerry Autrey said the city has spent about $80,000 in legal fees since it went to circuit court.
The land is currently zoned agricultural and Memphis Stone needed the special exception permit to mine and wash gravel, and sell it at the site.
Batesville officials said the variance given Memphis Stone did not constitute spot zoning.
The Appeals Court, in a split decision last fall, said it was clear that the variance favored Memphis Stone and excluded others. The court said Batesville's zoning ordinance does not permit mining where Memphis Stone wants to locate.
Others on the Appeals Court said the city's decision was based on the benefit it would receive from having a gravel mining operation nearby.
The Supreme Court found the Appeals Court had erred in finding the variance had constituted "illegal spot zoning."