Biloxi council to consider rezoning for possible casino development

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Biloxi City Council will consider a re-zoning request next week, which could clear the way for a new casino.

The issue involves nearly 19 acres of land, just west of the I-110. And a casino developer is definitely interested in the potential gaming site. It is picturesque property, nestled alongside the I-110 in the shadow of the towering IP casino resort.

Homes that have been boarded-up since Hurricane Katrina line one side of the neighborhood, along with some overgrown lots.

On the southside, the beauty of nature and Keegan Bayou: butterflies on blooms and an osprey about to enjoy fresh fish.

"There's good reasons for this to be developed as a casino site," said attorney Wayne Hengen, who represents a group of property owners requesting the waterfront zoning.

They say it may be the best hope for something good happening there.

"There has been a basic decline in the residential use. There's been no development whatsoever, although opportunity has been given for business to develop in that area. And the change is such that this really is going to fall into complete disuse unless we offer this opportunity with the zoning change," said Hengen.

The city's planning commission is recommending the zoning change be granted.

"Basically, the property is now unsuitable for single family residential. It's unsuitable for the standard type of commercial development because of the elevation requirements. And the planning commission felt that waterfront is suitable zoning," said Biloxi Community Development Director Jerry Creel.

WLOX News found mixed reviews among the people we talked with in the neighborhood about the proposed zoning change. One woman who rents a duplex said she'd hate to lose her place to live.  While the folks at the pawn shop said it's about time for some change.  They support the zoning rezoning request.

A public hearing will be held at six o'clock Tuesday evening at the Biloxi City Council meeting.  A vote is expected after that hearing.

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