Woolmarket residents take sides over Hidden Springs development

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Jessica Bowman – email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A re-zoning request for Hidden Springs, a proposed housing development in Woolmarket, was tabled Tuesday by the Biloxi City Council. Many Woolmarket residents, both for and against the development, were at the meeting giving council members their thoughts on the 166-acre project.

"I am a Woolmarket resident and I am opposed to the Hidden Springs development," one Woolmarket resident said.

"There's a lot of people out there that don't want change, but we have to have change to support the growth of the city," another resident said. "I will be proud to have this development in my neighborhood."

"I am not opposed to the development of Hidden Springs," Jennifer McRight said. "I am opposed to the re-zoning change. And it should be kept RER with lot sizes of 20,000 square feet or more."

Residential Estate Restricted, or RER, is the zoning guideline Jennifer McRight said her home, and most of the homes in Woolmarket have to abide by.

"The RER zoning will be in character with the neighborhood and Woolmarket community."

The Hidden Springs zoning was changed to PDR guidelines. That means each lot could be anywhere from 6,000 square feet to a little more than one acre. During the meeting, developer Phil Frisby said he has changed the master plans to help meet the concerns of those not in favor of the project.

"Applying the neighbor's suggestion of transitional zoning, we placed larger lots around the perimeter of the lot," Frisby said.

According to Frisby, more lots have been added to the plans that are more than 19,000 square feet. While some are opposed, other Woolmarket residents believe the project will bring jobs and progress to the area.

"I highly recommend that you vote to accept this development," one resident told council members. "I think if you were to deny the progress of this area, we would be denying progress to our county."

The issue was tabled because the ordinance was appealed after the zoning was approved earlier in October. The council should vote on the project November 30th.

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