South Diamondhead residents give comprehensive plan thumbs down - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

South Diamondhead residents give comprehensive plan a thumbs down

DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) -

The Comprehensive plan coming together in Diamondhead isn't sitting well with residents who live on the South side of the coast's newest city.

They say the plan will allow too much commercialization.

The comprehensive plan coming together in Diamondhead isn't sitting well with some residents on the south side of the coast's newest city. They say the plan will allow too much commercialization.

Right now, about 50 homes dot Diamondhead south of I-10. It's a far cry from the 200 homes that were there before Hurricane Katrina.

"Those of us who have rebuilt here on the south side of Diamondhead have committed a huge amount of money and time and effort to rebuild and reclaim the beautiful south side, and it is a concern to have things changing," said Diamondhead resident Melody Horton.

Diamondhead's Planning and Zoning commission has spent the past few months drafting a comprehensive plan for the new city. But many on the south side say they don't like the way the plan is shaping up.

"We do think that it would be too much commercial development in this area," Mitzi Botsay said. 

Botsay said the way the plan reads now, commercial businesses could set up shop too close to homes.

"The commercial property backs up right to my swimming pool. And I feel a lot of concern cause I really don't want a small business, or any type of business entity adjacent to my property."

Others are concerned about an area near the waterfront that would allow for a gaming development, or other resorts.

"We've already got 400+ acres properly zoned to the east of us ready for development," said resident Mario Feola. "Why do we want about another 100 acres in the middle of the residential area?"

"What's the protection for the residential neighborhood from transients coming and going to the businesses, to the casino, if that's what happens?" Horton asked. "There is an increased potential for crime."

Diamondhead Mayor Chuck Ingraham said the comprehensive plan is still in the development stage, and that residents' concerns will be used to help planning commissioners finalize the plan.

The Diamondhead City Council will review the development plan Monday. The council could sign off on it, or send it back to the Planning Commissioners for modifications.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

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