North Gulfport Prepares For SmartCode

The Turkey Creek area is at the center of Gulfport. That's why the city wants to revitalize the historic area by including it in its SmartCode plans.

Monday night, leaders held a pre-planning meeting at the Isaiah Fredericks Center where residents said they are ready for SmartCode and smart growth.

"I'd like to see mixed development in the north Gulfport community so that our senior citizens can get out and feel comfortable walking to the grocery store," one Gulfport resident said.

Residents of North Gulfport want to see the area the way it used to be and leaders say that's exactly what SmartCode is all about.

"It looks at how old southern towns successful worked and it tries to emulate that in a set of rules that can be imposed through zoning,' said Dr. Jeffrey Bounds, the consultant working on Gulfport's SmartCode Community effort.

Bounds says Turkey Creek and most of North Gulfport are at the center of the city's revitalization plan.

"These neighborhoods are perfect candidates because, essentially, they haven't suffered a lot of the over development that some of the other areas have," Bounds said.

Many people who live in their area say although they love what the community stands for, they're ready for change.

"I don't like to see dilapidated housing in our community and overgrown lots," said one Turkey Creek resident who has lived in the area for years.

Another resident says she wants to see more sidewalks in the historic area.

Walkability is another concern. It's something that's still prevalent in Downtown Ocean Springs. Now SmartCode hopes to bring that look back to North Gulfport with the help of those who know it best.

There will be two more pre-planning meetings in north Gulfport this week. Tuesday leaders will meet at the Good Deeds Community Center and Wednesday, there will be a meeting at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church. Both meetings are from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.