Gulfport Planning Commission Rejects Two Apartment Developments In Orange Grove

First up, developers presented plans for a 240 unit, three story apartment building on 10 acres off Dedeaux Road. Area residents say that's a bad idea.

"I'm opposed to it," said one resident appearing before the Gulfport Planning Commission. "Most of the residents of Orange Grove are opposed to it."

Traffic was another major concern.

"There's no other area within a half mile radius that has this high a density of a population," argued another resident.

The Gulfport Planning Commission's decision was 6-1 against a zoning change.

"Dedeaux Road is a mess and it continues to be a mess," said Edmund Kuckenbecker. "And they want to throw more and more apartment buildings on it."

Next up, another 240 unit apartment complex, this one on a 20 acre lot off Three
Rivers Road. Residents there expressed similar concerns about traffic, falling property values, and crime.

"They can be the most beautiful apartments in the world, but they're still apartments," said a Three Rivers Road resident. "That makes my property value go down and my property taxes go up."

The commission's vote was 4-3 against rezoning. That's 480 apartment units stopped for now.

"Exactly," said resident Jimmy May. "So we beat that much anyway hadn't we."

Neither of those projects were low income tax credit housing developments, but others remain on the drawing board. In fact, more than 2,000 proposed units of apartments, townhouses, and other residential projects are still pending in Ward 6 alone. It's enough to make some want to do more than just get out of the neighborhood.

"They want the revenue," said Kuckenbecker. "They just don't want the problems. They just push their problems out to Orange Grove."

Residents also sited school overcrowding and inadequate water and sewer service as reasons to limit the growth of new developments in the Orange Grove area.

"I feel almost like seceding from the city," said long time resident Marjorie Molloy. "We have enough revenue coming in out there. We could."