Ocean Springs restaurant's fate still uncertain

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The Ocean Springs Board of Aldermen is considering options that could determine the fate of the local restaurant, Harbor Landing. They met Monday night in executive session to discuss a court's decision that they acted outside their authority by granting a zoning exception to open the restaurant.

The meeting was short and almost completely in executive session behind closed doors.

"We're just considering options on how to respond to the court of appeals order," said Mayor Connie Moran.  "It could include a potential appeal to the Supreme Court."

The Ocean Springs Board of Aldermen is deciding their next step after a court ruled they acted outside their authority by granting the zoning exception.  A citizen group called the "Friends of Ocean Springs Harbor" fears allowing Harbor Landing to stand will open the door to more businesses that they believe should not be allowed there.

"Restaurants are allowed in every other commercial zone," said the group's attorney, Paul Barber.  "But not in the C4-B district.  So we want the city to recognize their own law and enforce their own laws."

Meanwhile, Moran said those zoning laws, and others around the city, could soon be amended.

"The city has been in the process in the past year of revamping all of our ordinances, all of our zoning, to better comply with our comprehensive growth plan," Moran said.  "The board certainly wants the ability to be able to better craft any business down there in keeping with the neighborhood."

Until their fate is decided, Harbor Landing owners will keep it business as usual.

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