Residents, Developers Imagine New Look For Gulfport

What could the city of Gulfport look like in the future? Thursday night, Gulfport began a series of intense rebuilding and planning workshops to answer just that question.

"The idea here is to let the public know where we are so far in our discussions dating back to the October Charrette from the Governor's Commission," said Brian Carriere a Gulfport Councilman.

An architect from San Francisco introduced a number of ideas and new looks for Gulfport, inspired by other cities.

"Here are casinos in Galveston. Another one from St. Petersburg, Florida which we think would be good models for hotels and casinos. Why couldn't Gulfport have a nice beach like this? With a sea wall that will protect from storm surges. And have a beautiful promenade with people to walk and skate," said Robert Alminana.

Gulfport resident Billy Barrett is in no rush to make these important decisions.

"These things are going to be here for a very long time, what we decide to build today and in the near future. Haste makes waste so I am not critical at all about the time," said Barrett.

Alminana showed residents a Casino in Monti Carlo which he says blends well with the community.

"It is integrated with the fabric around. It is not like a space ship out of no where and just dumped there and totally incompatible with what you want your city to be. So by showing this, I am just showing you that it is really possible to have casinos that bring in a lot of tourists and generate a lot of tax base," said Alminana.

Ultimately, that's what most tax payers agree is important. Thursday's meeting was the first of several planned through the end of the month.

The workshop, all meetings, and presentations are open to the public. There is no admission fee and advance registration is not necessary.

All meetings will be held at the Jefferson Davis Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Gulfport. Opening and Closing Presentation will be held in the Auditorium. All other events will take place in the Cafeteria.

Thursday, February 23, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Opening Presentation: "The Rebuilding of Gulfport and Principles of Town Planning and SmartCode"

Friday, February 24, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Those Encouraged to Attend: Elected Officials, Planning Boards, Commissions, and Committees

Saturday, February 25, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Those Encouraged to Attend: Commercial, Retail, Civic, & Cultural

Saturday, February 25, 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. Residential/Architects/Contractors/Developers

Sunday, February 26, 10:00 - 5:00 p.m. Residential Architectural Review Day

Those encouraged to attend: Residents who have lost their homes are invited to meet with architects to discuss specific housing needs and receive a sketch of a home designed to current FEMA Advisory Base Flood Elevation Standards.

Must sign up for a 30 min. appointment at the trailer on the east side Gulfport City Hall Feb. 16-18. Reservations taken from 9am-4pm. Space is limited. You must be a Gulfport resident who has lost your home.

Sunday, February 26, 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. Pin-up & Review - Citizen Participation

Monday, February 27, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
City staff /Infrastructure /Police/Fire/Transportation

Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Closing Presentation: "The Regulating Plan and SmartCode for the City of Gulfport"