New Height Ordinance For Condos Concerns Ocean Springs Citizens - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

New Height Ordinance For Condos Concerns Ocean Springs Citizens

"When I was young, I went to Destin a lot and I watched as Destin turned into a concrete jungle, where you can't even get down to the beach now in many places," Ocean Springs resident Doug Denehie says. "This is owned by the public, the beach front."

Denehie doesn't want to see the shoreline taken over by condos, like the one planned for this site on Front Beach.

"It was originally only going to be 54-56 feet high, and it was acceptable to me and I think it's a good project still," Denehie says.

But on Tuesday, the board voted to give developers an option to increase the height by 10 feet and don't forget FEMA will require the complex to elevate possibly by another 18 feet.

"You're looking at 78 feet right there," Denehie says,"They are opening it up and making it easier for future development."

Many beach front property owners said they didn't wish to speak on camera, but told us they too worry about the future.

They say more property owners are more willing to sell out now than before Katrina, leaving room for major developers to step in.

City Planning Director Donovan Scruggs sees things differently.

"I do not see the city of Ocean Springs turning into condominum alley along front beach," Scruggs says.

Scruggs says only four sites along the beach are zoned for multi-family use. And he believes the height increase is something people won't even notice.

"When you look at a building that 50 feet in height, it's really hard to tell if it's 50, 55, or 65 feet high."  

Scruggs says city leaders will do the best they can to make sure Ocean Springs remains the quaint little town the residents have grown to love.

By Jaimee Goad

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