Landowners sue Ocean Springs over East Beach sidewalk plans - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Landowners sue Ocean Springs over East Beach sidewalk plans

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Two Ocean Springs landowners are suing the city and the Secretary of State's Office over a proposed six foot sidewalk on East Beach, south of the seawall.

Judge Neil Harris and Buddy Gunn presented their side Tuesday, saying the beach is owned by the landowners, not the public. The defense is set to present its side this morning.

Mayor Connie Moran said upland landowners have littoral rights extending from the mean high tide (near the shoreline) out into the water, which allows them to build private piers. But she said the public owns the beach. Moran said the Secretary of State has given the city a permit to build the sidewalk, as has the Department of Marine Resources.

"If the plaintiffs are successful, the city will lose the economic stimulus funding of $500,000 to build the sidewalk," Mayor Moran wrote in an email to WLOX News. "Even more far reaching are implications for ownership of the beach coast wide, and how that would impact tidelands leases the SOS [Secretary of State] receives from casinos and other entities."

The trial is expected to end Wednesday. WLOX News and WLOX.com will have more on this story later today.

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