Bacaran Bay Gets CMR Nod Again - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/15/05

Bacaran Bay Gets CMR Nod Again

Bacaran Bay is supposed to dramatically change the waterfront immediately east of I-110, once the Biloxi resort is built.

Michael Cavanaugh represented Bacaran Bay at Tuesday's Commission on Marine Resources meeting.

"We're moving forward with our permitting process," the attorney said. "We're working on our master plan now. And we're going forward."

The Caillavet Street project already has gaming commission site approval. And for the second time in a month, it got the CMR's blessing. The issuance of that January 18 permit bothered local environmentalists. That's why they asked for it to be reconsidered at Tuesday's CMR meeting.

Reilly Morse is the environmental group's attorney.

"There are precedent setting effects," he told the commission. "You're permitting a water dependent industry to go on filled wetlands on land that is above ground."

In the end, the CMR unanimously denied Morse's request to have Bacaran Bay's permit application reconsidered.

Cavanaugh wasn't surprised.

"Quite simply, they had their opportunity to state their case," he said. "They weren't happy with the result. They presented nothing new. We don't believe they're entitled to a reconsideration. And this is merely an attempt to try to obstruct and delay the progress of this project."

Environmentalists haven't decided if they'll appeal their CMR permit challenge to chancery court.

"It's a serious issue," Morse said. "It's something that deserves careful consideration before you take action."

While the CMR was listening to the permit debate, an Alabama company was at the Bacaran Bay site, conducting soil tests.

Developers think they're less than a year away from actually transforming the Caillavet Street moving and storage facility, and its neighboring properties into a multi-million dollar casino resort.

by Brad Kessie

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