Eyesore Property Near The Lighthouse Back In Court

The Hayes Bolton property is less than 100 feet away from one of the most photographed landmarks in the southeast: The Biloxi lighthouse.

The land is home to Bolton's beach vending and pawn shop businesses. It's also an eyesore that's been the target of an ongoing code enforcement campaign.

"We just don't feel that this is an appropriate location for a junkyard," said Biloxi Community Development Director Jerry Creel.

Concerns about the appearance of Bolton's property date back several years. In 2004 he was found guilty of six code violations, including keeping junk vehicles at the site.

The city contends Bolton still has work to do.

"Any equipment, any materials has to be screened from public view. And you know, the storm took the fence away, so everything is in public view now," says Creel.

One specific complaint involves used vehicles.

"He contends that his pawn license gives him the right to display and sell used vehicles on that property. We contend that it does not," Creel said.

WLOX News wanted to hear Hayes Bolton's side of this dispute, but at the advice of his attorney, he declined comment.

Jerry Creel says Hayes Bolton appeared before the city's Architecture and Historical Review Commission last week to discuss building a fence around the property. But his proposed design for a fence was turned down.

"They wanted a design that complies with the AHRC design guidelines and also something that would complement the lighthouse and the visitor's center that's going to be built in the future on the city's property across Porter Avenue."

At Thursday's hearing in county court, the city requested and was granted a 30 day continuance. Jerry Creel says that will give Bolton extra time to work with the city on a fence design that would be acceptable for the historic district.