City leaders excited for new businesses, concerned about locatio - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

City leaders excited for new businesses, concerned about location

A new Shaggy's location is being built right off Highway 90 near Salute in Gulfport. (Image Source: WLOX News) A new Shaggy's location is being built right off Highway 90 near Salute in Gulfport. (Image Source: WLOX News)
A new Bling Tiger is being built just west of Cowan Road. (Image Source: WLOX News) A new Bling Tiger is being built just west of Cowan Road. (Image Source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

City leaders are excited about new restaurants coming to the Gulfport beachfront, but the excitement doesn't come without a bit of concern.

The concern has nothing to do with the actual businesses — but rather the way they're being built.

“One of the conversations it has sparked is due to its proximity to Highway 90; it's very close. That's a remnant from when smartcode was laid over this area and we tried to pull it back, just did not pull back very well,” said Councilman R. Lee Flowers.

Smartcode was adopted after Hurricane Katrina. In short, it's a land development ordinance with several allowances, such as developers being able to build right off of the roadway.

Council members like R. Lee Flowers and Ricky Dombrowski say there are aspects of it they don’t agree with.

“We need to be smart about how we're doing this. It's ironic because it's smartcode, but it doesn't seem to be very smart with some of the things that don't make sense," said Dombrowski. "You know you're right on the road, just wonder if somebody's going to run into that piling right there on the road.” 

The new businesses going up happen to be restaurants. The Blind Tiger is under construction just west of Cowan Road and Shaggy's is feet away from Salute in downtown Gulfport. Because of smartcode, Shaggy's developers are not required to build any parking spaces.

“We appreciate and we really enjoy the fact that we've got new business coming in town every day, but it's hard for one business to have to comply with a ton of parking and then the other have to have zero parking,” said Dombrowski.

Flowers' other concern is the city's lack of requirements on building aesthetics. As the city continues to grow, he hopes they will require developers to build better looking businesses.

“We want to make certain that any development we have along our beautiful scenic byways compliments that amount of investment that we the city have put into our community,” said Flowers.

The new Shaggy's location is slated to open in February, and The Blind Tiger should open in the spring.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly