Edgewater Bay Gains Approval

It took weeks to iron out the details, but the Biloxi Planning Commission was pleased with the give-and-take meetings it had with developers who want to buy the Edgewater Bay Golf Course. Developers were asking for numerous variances in order to transform the course into a close knit style subdivision. With the current owners of the course looking on, today's vote would put them one step closer to completing a deal with the York Community Development company.

It was a process as complicated as the Edgewater Bay project may be to pull off. Planning Commission members looking at a host of variances that developers have asked for spent the last couple of weeks broken into sub committee's to give this project a fair evaluation.

Ed Shambra is on the Planning Commission and says the process was a thorough one. "It was sent to a zoning text and map committee as well as a subdivision committee meeting; they met jointly to discuss the fine points that were being addressed specifically the number of variances that have been requested."

After the sub committee's worked with the developers to clear up their differences, it appeared the commission was pleased with the results. Ed Shambra says, "We came up to a reasonable compromise that was then delivered to the planning commission and planning commission then took under advisement and it decided to go ahead and vote from their standpoint to approve."

Billy Miller is the attorney for the current owners of the Edgewater Bay Golf Course and he says his clients consider today a victory. "The developers saw the wisdom of some of the requested compromises and we agreed and we're very pleased that the planning commission has granted the developer's variances."

The 12 to 1 vote in favor of approving the project now falls squarely in the hands of the Biloxi City Council to either do the same or reject the project. The council has been asked to buy the course and turn it into a municipal golf course, but with a deal between the current owners and the developers, already brokered, along with the overwhelming recommendation by the Planning Commission a rejection may be hard to justify.

Ed Shambra says, "I think they'll understand the nature of the compromises that were made and can better appreciate what the real value of this will be."

Billy Miller says, "We have the right to appeal any city council decision that goes against the developer, and I can't see the necessity for it though because it appears that the planning commission has made a wise decision."

The City Council will vote on the project at its next meeting.