If, as expected, the proposed Development Code goes into effect, this is what owners of that property will have the right to build along our waterfront:
- Planned Unit Developments: a tract of land under single ownership that is planned and developed for commercial, retail, or office use
- Liquor Stores
- Specialty retail stores
- Barber or beauty shops
- Art Galleries or Museums
- Antique Stores
There will be no hearings about whether the citizens of Natchez want the development. There will be no recourse to the courts. The law will say they have the right to build these things.
Owners will still have to abide by building codes and planning & preservation guidelines, but the use of the land is not up for debate or discussion. So we may have historic condos, but we're going to get condos.
To make matters worse, this is what owners can build if they get the so-hard-to-get approval of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen:
- Brew Pubs
- Resource Extractions: Extraction of minerals, ores, soils, and any other solid matter from its original location, including but not limited to quarrying, open pit, mining, drilling, tunneling, strip mining and any other such activities YIKES!
You may be thinking that much of the Bluff is public property and exempt from this. But the City has already sold public property to developers and has plans to sell more. So don't let that soothe you.
There was a hearing about the proposed Development yesterday before the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. Were you there? Probably not. What most people said was "Why bother to express an opinion before the Mayor and Board of Aldermen when they don't listen anyway." Good point! There were lots of people at the hearing but only two of us mentioned the Waterfront District. I'm sad to say most people have no idea what is about to happen.
What you can do now:
- You could provide a written opinion to the Planning Director Dennis Story in City Hall by 5 pm Friday.
- You can also attend the next meeting of the Planning Commission on Thursday, May 17 at 5 pm in the City Council Chambers. You will likely not be able to speak, but your presence will say a lot.
- Vote in the poll on this site, so we can get an idea how citizens want our Bluffs developed - and ask your friends and neighbors to vote.
At its meeting, the Planning Commission is set to make changes based on the public hearing and send it on to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen for final approval on Tuesday, May 22.
If you don't want a 75 foot wall of buildings on the Bluffs, you'd better do something NOW!