Vandals Let Bocage Developers Know Their Project Is Not Welcome

A housing development proposal in west Harrison County has sparked some ill will on Kiln Delisle Road. Unidentified vandals near the 365 acre Bocage project have used graffiti to make their feelings known. They don't want a collection of homes and shops north of I-10.

That became a possibility shortly after Hurricane Katrina.  Janet Bryan came to the coast to check on friends.  One of those friends wanted the Florida developer to see land on Kiln Delisle Road.  When Bryan saw the rolling hills across this tree lined Harrison County property, she knew her Florida development company had stumbled upon a gem.

"We feel like we're trying to be and want to be very much a part of this community," she said while standing on the eastern tip of the property.

Bryan's firm bought the land last year. Now, it's in the initial stages of creating Bocage, a collection of homes, condos, apartments, shops and parks between Kiln Delisle Road and Diamondhead.

"What we have done has been just to take this already beautiful piece of property and enhance it," she said, pointing at a sketch of how Bocage could developed.

However, don't let the peace and serenity of the undeveloped 365 acre property fool you. This project has its share of detractors. And in the last couple of weeks, their voices have been heard.

Last week, opponents submitted petitions to the Harrison County Planning Commission. This week, graffiti showed up on the property. A vandal splashed paint over the Bocage sign that sits on the foot of Kiln Delisle road. On the bottom of that sign, vandals painted three words -- Keep it Country.

"Are you disappointed?" project manager Scott Favre was asked.

"Very disappointed," he said.

Favre grew up around the corner from this land.

"I would rather see something come to this community we could be proud of rather than someone just coming in here and sticking something in," he said.

Bocage got the Harrison County Planning Commission to rezone the property so homes and neighborhood shops could be built. Harrison County Supervisors consider the Kiln Delisle Road zoning change on July 9.

Bocage developers have not determined how many homes and apartments they'd like to build on their property. What they have decided to do is preserve almost a third of the 365 acre lot, so its trees can be saved.