GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A controversial rezoning request is on its way to the Gulfport City Council. One month after the Gulfport Planning Commission tabled a rezoning request on Mississippi 605, it approved the move after the developer cut down the number of acres he wanted to rezone.
Thursday's meeting drew at least 50 anxious residents hoping to persuade the board to deny the request.
The developer, Jacques Pucheu, reduced the size of the property to be rezoned from 25 acres to a little more than six acres with the only access from 605.
He asked to change the property from residential single family to neighborhood business. The property is on the west side of the highway and near the Bayou Oaks subdivision.
Residents, some of whom were well known attorneys and real estate developers, argued that the neighborhood character would change, traffic would increase and access would be too close to their homes.
The pushback took the proponents by surprise after they thought a last minute agreement had been made.
"We thought we had an agreement with the neighbors," said attorney Virgil Gillespie. "I really don't understand what's happening, but apparently, I think they just don't want anything out there."
"The test is what impact does it have on the values? What impact does it have on the character of the neighborhood? What impact does it have on traffic," said Joe Sam Owen, who lives in the Bayou Oaks subdivision.
Despite the arguments, the commission agreed to recommend the request by a 5-2 vote. The recommendation will now go before the Gulfport City Council at a date yet to be determined.