Biloxi Charrette Planners Pull Out

In their letter, architects Stefanos Polyzoides and Liz Moule say East Biloxi should be restored and the interests of the citizens there should be balanced with the gaming industry in a way that creates opportunity for both. The letter says "the messy cocktail of high rise casinos and condos will be an even worse environment, an unpleasant place to live. East Biloxi will vanish and the city will be scarred forever." Councilman Mike Fitzpatrick says no decisions have been made about that part of the city. "We have not considered changing anything in East Biloxi. We're still waitin' to find out who's coming in back there to live again and we don't know that."

The letter also questions why Biloxi is accepting FEMA's height requirements and guidelines when, in fact, the council hasn't voted on those either. "When I read their letter some of their assumptions are totally absurd. It's almost like somebody saying well this is my basketball, ya'll aren't playin' my game so we're gonna leave the area and you can do this on your own," says Fitzpatrick.

Retired general Clark Griffith chairs the mayor's rennaisance steering committee. He says the outside architects are just wrong about a lot of things. "If anybody wants to tell me that Biloxi is selling their soul to condominiums and casinos I would just tell 'em right quick that is the furtherest thing that's happening."

Griffith says the city will soon begin consulting with a New York planning group called Living Cities and Polyzoides and Moule were invited to participate. "We asked them to come to the table. They said they wanted to sit at the head of the table. We said no we already have somebody at the head of the table and so they decided not to play."