Pass Christian Holds Smart Growth Meeting

Katrina leveled many of Pass Christian's quaint but impressionable buildings in the downtown area. Not to mention severely damaging and destroying many of the city's stately homes.  But this is a time of rebuilding, and that's why the city held a Smart Growth meeting Friday night.

"We are starting our community planning process. This is the kick off. We'll do four community plans for the city of Pass Christian," said planning consultant Ann Daigle.

During the meeting, organizers shared some things they found out during February's charettes.

"Dedicated greenspace. There's a lot of wetlands here, but they're not neighborhood centers where people can go top lots, playgrounds or just meditation gardens, whatever," Daigle said.

Daigle says overall, most residents want to preserve the comfortable, cozy city they lived in before the storm, but they'd still like to see a major corporation return.

"They want the Wal-Mart here. They want the tax base, but they're very concerned about the product, the model that Wal-Mart wanted here. It was very interesting. Wal-Mart came forward, and said we'll work with you then," Daigle said.

Organizers will be using surveys from Friday night's meeting and consider those suggestions. While the smart growth meetings are headed up by planning professionals, residents will have the final word.

"The most important thing is the community get involved.  (Know) that we are professionals, and we can give our professional advice.  But it is critical that we get input from the residents and the neighbors here," Daigle said.

The city's held a second Smart Growth meeting on Saturday at 9 a.m. at the old Pass Christian Library.