Ocean Springs leaders hold off on amending B&B ordinance

Ocean Springs leaders hold off on amending B&B ordinance

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Ocean Springs leaders decided to wait before changing the city's bed and breakfast ordinance. Some people who live in the city said they want to review the newly amended ordinance and bring suggestions to the table before aldermen make a final decision.

A home in the Ocean Springs East Beach community has been a topic of controversy lately.

Residents said they believe the home owned by Scott and Trinity Walker is still going through the application process to become a bed and breakfast, but has already been operating as one. Residents say they don't want a bed and breakfast on East Beach.

"There's really inadequate parking out there. People coming and going on the weekend in what is a quiet residential area. Everyone who purchased out there purchased with the idea, as the councilman stated on the record in there, that this was a residential area," said attorney Jim Reeves, who represents the residents of East Beach.

Ocean Springs Planning and Grants Administrator Carolyn Martin said the current ordinance on B&Bs is antiquated and vague. She said following several complaints from residents about the Walkers' home, she knew it was time to update the ordinance.

"It did bring some questions to light that I couldn't clearly answer. It just kind of revealed some things that needed answers in the code," said Martin.

Residents of East Beach said they want more time to review the new ordinance. Ocean Springs Alderman Matt McDonnell agreed.

"I'm certainly supportive of tabling this motion. I'm going to ask that we table it for 60 days to give all of the residents that could be adversely effected an opportunity to study it. I certainly would want our board to study it much more than just looking at it for a handful of days before we adopt up," said McDonnell.

McDonnell said he believes residents should have a voice to state whether they support a B&B or not.

Scott Walker said he and his wife were in compliance with the current ordinance when they applied for their permit, saying in a statement:

"We meet all of the criteria and have passed all of the City's inspections. We are confident that we will receive our Use Permit very soon. 
We are hopeful that the new amendment to the ordinance passes for all future B&B's in Ocean Springs!"

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