High Rise Neighbors Have Low Views - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/11/04

High Rise Neighbors Have Low Views

For years, residents of the Venetian Gardens subdivision, right behind the LegacyApartments, fought the multi-million dollar condominium development.

They cited possible problems like increased traffic and noise.

Now that the project is partially complete, we followed up to see if the high rise is still bringing in low views.

"I try to block it out of my mind. The knife that is in my back is still firmly implanted there by them and the city council," said resident Jo Harpole.

And that so-called knife can be seen towering over her neighborhood each day.

Back in the late nineties, Harpole, along with neighbor Scott Cotman, were concerned about losing the integrity of their small, quiet neighborhood with the construction of two, 14-story condominium towers.

As you can see, the neighborhood lost the fight.

"The thing that really gets us is that if they had just made them abide by the zoning which they already had which was for 10 stories instead of this 14 stories.We think that they have put too much building on too little land," said Harpole.

Mr. Cotman believed the development was inevitable because of the growing Coast population.

But he believes the development will only add pain with the progress.

"It's only gonna get worse. They're putting in close to 500 units over there. That traffic is gonna have to go somewhere and they're talking that two-lane service road. I don't think the city did some long range planning on the infrastructure that we were gonna need for what's gonna happen here in the city of Gulfport and we're paying for it now," said Cotman.

But despite residents' concerns, one tower is up and its twin is on the way.

"We did everything we could do to stop it but we're just learning to adapt. This is where we plan on living the rest of our lives and you just have to learn to do with what you got," said Cotman.

Yates Construction superintendent Travis Leggett says the interior of the first tower should be complete by February.

Once that is complete, Leggett says it will take about 16 months to complete the second tower.

By Karla Redditte

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