Biloxi Council Votes Against Rezoning For Wal-Mart - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/21/03

Biloxi Council Votes Against Rezoning For Wal-Mart

The developers had proposed donating 37 acres of green space for public use, along with an east-west connector road between Beauvior and Veterans. But opponents to the project didn't just want green space. They wanted the golf course.

"I haven't seen a hotelier or talked to one who thinks it's a good idea to trade a golf course for a Super Wal Mart," hotel owner Bob Bennett said.

Some expressed traffic worries. That's why several residents of nearby Arbor Drive urged council to stop the development.

"Cities are of people. And I think we're missing that point. This is a well established neighborhood. You don't have many left in the City of Biloxi. I think we need to hold on to that," resident Tina Ross-Seamans said.

Not everyone spoke in opposition. Proponents praised the economic impact.

"This thing would bring in new business to the city and additional jobs to the city and of course additional revenue to the city would be beneficial to everyone," resident Jim Garner said.

Council members were not convinced.

"I'm just not going to be able to support this thing at all," Ward 6 councilman Tom Wall said.

The rest of the council agreed with Wall, voting 7-0 to deny the zoning change.

"We did everything they asked. And I don't understand why, for the sake of Biloxi, that they voted down this project," Developer Daniel Chang said.

The Super Wal Mart plan at this location may be history, but the developer suggested he's still interested in the President Casino property.

Daniel Chang says he and his partners may consider buying not only the golf course, but also the President Casino and the adjacent marina. The company, as you know, has filed for bankruptcy. Chang hinted he might have other plans for the golf course property, but did not go into detail.

As for the Super Wal Mart, Chang says he owns property in Gulfport, and may take the project to that city.

by Steve Phillips

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