Biloxi Planning Commission Will Revisit Rezoning

BILOXI (WLOX) -- Any plans for new casinos in Biloxi will have to wait for now, after two major decisions Thursday.

The Biloxi Planning Commission heard, yet again, from residents before voting on whether to turn 81 acres of land from Dukate to Kuhn Street into waterfront zoning.

At the last meeting, the commission's executive committee was asked to study the issue.  The committee urged the full planning commission to approve it.

But before the commission voted, Biloxi's Community Development Director, Jerry Creel, delivered some news.

Creel informed commissioners that the Gaming Commission had taken a vote earlier that afternoon against allowing the South Beach Casino Resort at the foot of Veterans Avenue. The commission said RW Development did not have a legal gaming site to build on, in part, because it was not linked to the water's edge.

After hearing that news, the commissioners voted against the zoning change.

"With all the factors that had been looked at today, particularly with the Gaming Commission and their ruling, the commission felt that maybe that waterfront zoning might not be the best classification for that area," said Biloxi's Executive Planner Edward Shambra.

But, the vote didn't close the issue. A committee member was concerned over the decision to vote against waterfront zoning. He questioned how the opposing vote would impact future development and home owners who can't afford to build back.  There were also questions regarding the gaming commission's decision.

However, after much discussion, the commission decided to dismiss the issue and revisit it at its next meeting. Members say they will bring the issue up for discussion at the end of the meeting as old business. They will not take public comments.