Biloxi physician not giving up on his LED sign

Biloxi physician not giving up on his LED sign
Dr. Azad Kabir says he will continue to fight for his new sign despite a series of rejections.

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Dr. Azad Kabir may be gaining patients, but he's losing patience with bureaucracy.

"AHRC is not reasonable," he said. "They are cherry picking, giving some people and leaving it out. It is clear discrimination."

For years, Kabir has tried to put an electronic advertising sign on his property on Highway 90. The problem is that it's located in a historic district.

Despite his effort, the Architectural and Historical Review Commission has denied his request several times. He argues that some have been given permission to use that kind of sign and he hasn't.

"Look at St. Michael Catholic Church. How beautiful it looks," he said. "It has a digital message board sign. That's exactly what kind of sign I want in my property. St. Michael Catholic Church is also an historic land mark and the city approved it. They all know."

The case has now been sent back to the Biloxi City Council for a decision on June 12. Regardless of what is decided, it does bring up an important point. How do you balance economic development with maintaining historic value?

Biloxi Historic Administrator Bill Raymond said this case won't likely be a game changer either way. "Economic development and historic preservation can happen hand in hand," he said. "I don't think there's a conflict there."

Raymond said historic preservation can be an economic driver itself with tourism. "They want to visit places that are unique," he added. "Part of what makes Biloxi unique is its historic integrity and its historic places."

Raymond said what may appear to be preferential treatment by the commission, as in the case of St. Michael, is not.

"Every case is looked at on its merits," he said. "You're looking at a particular request based on settings. That's what they've done in all cases. They always have to look at what is the setting of this particular request that you're asking."

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