Harrison County neighbors oppose subdivision plans along North Swan Road

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX)-Harrison County residents along North Swan Road are speaking out against a proposed subdivision in their neighborhood.

The developer, Dr. Victor Stegall, wants to build 100 new homes on a 40 acre site near the intersection of North Swan and Walter Smith Road. Neighbors say that's too many houses on too little land.

The plans date back to before Katrina. Neighbors who questioned the project then, have even more concerns now.

"If you look at the land around there, it's all acreage. What they're going to do is destroy the character of the neighborhood to make a doctor's portfolio look better," said neighbor Robert Flynt.

"I don't know if you've been down Walter Smith Road or North Swan. They're narrow. Especially Walter Smith Road. It's a very narrow two lane road. We've got a big, nice church coming up across from this. And that's going to add traffic and all. We're just concerned," added resident Harold Bixley.

Supervisors raised concerns about how different the housing market is from when the project was initiated.

"It has been three years. In that three year period of time, the complexion of housing needs has changed. The whole complexion of Harrison County. The need is not as it was. Everything has changed since 2005," said supervisor Connie Rockco.

"You got to have more money than you've got sense if you're going to try and develop a subdivision with $180,000 to $250,000 homes in it. I just don't believe that's going to happen," says supervisor Kim Savant.

The project engineer wants a chance to compromise.

"Let me get the developers down here to meet with the residents and try to come up with some amenable solution. At least make that effort," said David Machado.

In the end, supervisors sided with the neighbors opposed to the subdivision. That vote doesn't kill the project, but it does send it back to the drawing board.

Concerned neighbors vow they'll continue to track the process and progress.

The doctor wanting to develop the property is from out of state.

The project must now go back to the planning commission.