Some Bay Business Owners Surprised By City's Green Space Rules

Some business owners in Bay St. Louis say the city's rules on green space are too strict.

Fourteen years ago, the city passed an ordinance requiring more landscaping around businesses. Though the rules aren't new, they seem that way to many longtime Bay St. Louis business owners now rebuilding. Some say it's the first time they've even heard of the green space requirements.

Tom Chapman with Bay St. Louis Planning & Zoning said, "Part of it is aesthetics, but also part of it has to do with run off and what have you. If you have everything paved, all the water runs off into the storm drain system. If you have green space, you have ground saturation and what have you that takes off some of the water."

John Ladner, owner of Breath's Boats & Motors said, "It involved a certain amount of trees for so many feet. We actually over killed that. I think that I have twice as many trees as we need. I think it keeps our city looking nice. We want to build our city back bigger and better and prettier than it was. I think it's a good idea, as long as it's not over burdening. And I found what we had to do not over burdening."

The rules call for eight percent green space in every parking lot, with at least one tree every 50 feet of the property.

City leaders say about 90 percent of the businesses in the Bay fall under a grandfather clause and do not have to add green space unless they expand their parking areas more than 25 percent.