Shoreline Park Residents Speak Out Against Townhome Proposal

Developers who want to put townhomes in Hancock County's Shoreline Park area are meeting with opposition from neighbors.

A group of investors called Shoreline Land Development has proposed a 44 unit town house complex along Breaths Bayou. That's off of Bayou Drive in the Shoreline Park Community.

Developers say the neighborhood would be added to the Shoreline Park community without disrupting the people who already live in the area.

"The owners intent is to make a Seaside type community. It will have a private boat launch, a gated entrance. The intent of the developer is to provide a nice, environmentally friendly community with homes somewhere between 1100 and 1400 square feet of living space," Engineer Jeff Clemens.

Wayne Murphy is just one of the Shoreline Park residents who says the town home development isn't welcome.

"Shoreline Park, as a subdivision, has had infrastructure problems, it's had general developmental problems for years. We all know that. I think it's been going in the right direction in recent years. Placing a high density development like this in Shoreline Park is not the way to go at this time," Murphy said.

Fellow resident Joanna Spicuzza agrees.

"We experience a lot of flooding in that area, so it really concerns me if you're going to propose to do a high density development like this. I think it's going to create even more of a problem," Spicuzza said. "I think it's a good idea, I'm just not sure it's the right spot for it."

Planning and Zoning Commissioners listened to the arguements, but approved the developer's basic concept, leaving opponents disappointed.

"I'm deeply opposed to this. Environmentally, I don't think it's sound. When ya'll look at this, you'll see there's a tiny, tiny bit of the property that is not wetlands. I just think it would be a disaster for Shoreline Park and the whole community," resident Mary Thompson said.

Developers must still get site design approval as well as approval from other regulatory agencies. Residents will have at least one more chance to voice their opinions during that process.

by Al Showers