Developers Want Fair Chance In Biloxi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/03/03

Developers Want Fair Chance In Biloxi

According to Patrick Barber, the Sea Breeze condominiums will be a one of a kind development. But it may be halted.

"It is no easy task and no small amount of money that has to be invested to pull off a project like this. And to get this invested, not knowing whether the city is behind you or not, going through that process, that's why the process is there. Everybody expects as you go through a process, not to ever have something be reneged on the situation where you get pulled back," Barber said.

Last Thursday, Keesler Air Force Base made a request to extend the approved height restriction to guarantee safety for training aircraft pilots.

Barber says the concern now is that the city, as well as Keesler, approved the first height restriction of 110 feet. So the multi-million dollar project moved on as planned - only to be on hold months later.

"If we knew all of those in the very beginning that was an issue we would have never ever attempted to go forward on this project, and now that we get through the process and everything we just don't understand how we get pulled back in so much," Barber said.

Mayor A.J. Holloway says the city is not the one to blame for the setback.

"Well, you know this project has been going on now for two years, and all of a sudden it's the city's fault? C'mon. They got their permits. They didn't perform. It's their responsibility to perform within the first 18 months and they didn't do that. The city council had to renew their permit for another six months and that lapsed into getting another permit," Mayor Holloway said.

"What we just don't understand is why our project specifically is not grandfathered. That's what we were told in the previous meeting as we went forward and now all of a sudden we're caught in this quandary and it is sure painful," Barber said.

Barber is excited about the project and says the last thing anybody wants to do is to fight with the city.

The planning commission is scheduled to meet with Keesler officials Thursday afternoon.

By Karla Redditte

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