People say "no" to changes in downtown Wiggins

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) - Residents and business owners in Wiggins are saying "no" to changes to their downtown district. Monday, dozens of people came out to a public hearing to discuss proposed maps to the business area.

"Ward's brings a lot of business downtown. Ward's pays a lot of taxes downtown," said the owner of Ward's Restaurant.

In 2000, the city of Wiggins developed a new comprehensive plan. Since then, that plan has been revised several times. New changes will redefine the uses of businesses and residences in the downtown area. However, people at the public hearing want nothing to do with those changes.

One business owner of more than 30 years asked, "How can you do this to people?"

Some downtown business owners say the plans are too restrictive and will only discourage future downtown business development. However, members of the planning commission say that's not the case.

The mayor has expressed his concern with the zoning maps. However, members of the commission insist that businesses are moving away from the city of Wiggins and to keep the city alive, changes must be made.

The planning commission voted to table the issue until their next meeting, scheduled for October 20th at 5p.m.