Man trying to build a home from two MEMA cottages

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Residents on Seal Avenue say they're frustrated because their neighbor, Mark Scherrouse, is trying to construct a home from two MEMA cottages.

"It's very difficult to explain because I get very upset," neighbor Julia Guice said.

A city ordinance, which allows MEMA cottages within Biloxi city limits, has a stipulation preventing people from putting cottages on their property. Scherrouse did not have a permit to bring the cottage onto his property. He went to the city for a building permit, but was denied. Still, both cottages are sitting on the property.

"I want it gone.  I want it gone; it is illegal and anything illegal should not stay," Guice said.

Scherrouse said he misunderstood the ordinance and thought he could put a cottage on his property as long as it followed the same guidelines as other MEMA cottages.

He received a ticket for having the cottage on the property, but said from what he's been told they can remain until the ticket is resolved in court.

The city cannot legally remove the cottage from Scherouse's property, despite the ticket being written.

In addition to the issue with the ordinance, the city has other concerns when it comes to turning the two cottages into one home.

"Anytime you want to come in and tear into that unit, you compromise that structural integrity," Community Development Director Jerry Creel said.

Even if the council decides to uphold the denied permit, Scherrouse can still appeal.

In the meantime, neighbors have some suggestions on what could be done with the cottages until the process is complete.

"If he wanted to pull that out and find a place for it until the city can rule on it and follow up all his appeals, I think that would make everybody feel a little more comfortable with it," Guice said.

Scherrouse said he would be willing to move his cottage to a temporary location, provided a resolution could be reached allowing him to rebuild.

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