Biloxi City Council votes down rezoning for RV park

Map of 11189 Old Highway 15, proposed site of RV Park (Image Source: WLOX)
Map of 11189 Old Highway 15, proposed site of RV Park (Image Source: WLOX)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - An RV park will not be going up in the Magnolia Bend community of Woolmarket any time soon. The Biloxi City Council voted 4-2 against rezoning land located at 11189 Old Highway 15, to build a RV park.

A few weeks ago, the planning commission approved the rezoning proposal, and recommended that the council pass it as well.

"There is no way the city should pass this thing. It shouldn't even be allowed. We shouldn't even be talking about this," said Lawrence.

Councilman George Lawrence, along with several other members of the council, made it clear they were opposed to the zoning change, because the proposed parcel of land is in a flood prone area.

"It's more of a safety factor than anything else. I have an RV myself, and I go places, of course, in it. But I also wouldn't want to be parked in a flood zone. I wouldn't want to get caught in there in the middle of the night or even in the middle of the day," said Mary Welpton.

A large group of residents, who live in the area where the proposed RV Park would be built, made sure their voices were heard at the meeting.

"That water rushes straight through like a bullet, and anything that comes down that river is a target," said one resident who lives in the Woolmarket area.

Most residents who live in the area have their houses built on stilts. They say flooding is a constant problem, and having hundreds of RVs full of visitors who are not familiar with the area during a flood could be very dangerous.

"I went to work one day and it rained so hard, I came back home at eight o'clock at night, and I had lost a picnic table," said another Woolmarket resident.

According to Councilman Paul Tisdale, the rezoning change has gone before the board before, about five years ago. Ronnie Blacklidge is the developer of the property, and his engineer was at the meeting to speak in favor of the zoning change.

"Long term residents will spend money, they'll pay sales tax, so it will bring long term tourists into the area," said Blacklidge's engineer.

The argument wasn't enough, and the Biloxi Council voted, yet again, against approving the zoning change.

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