Biloxi busy updating comprehensive plan

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX)-Biloxi residents are invited to help shape the long term future of their community.

The City of Biloxi is in the midst of updating its "comprehensive plan."

Wallace, Roberts and Todd is the consultant hired by the city to help update the plan. The finished report will be a "blueprint" for guiding future growth in Biloxi, while maintaining the city's unique culture, history and charm.

Planning Biloxi's long term future means preserving those things that make this city unique and attractive, while properly managing the changes and growth that are bound to take place.

"There's something so marvelous about Biloxi that we've noticed from the first day we came here, that really needs to be preserved and built upon. And that's what many people are telling us. But there's also a future. More growth. More development. And change always, whether we like it or not," said planning consultant, John Beckman.

The process of updating the comprehensive plan began eight months ago. The finished report will help guide Biloxi for the next 25 years.

"This is winding down the process that they've been going through. And we're anxious to get the final report and see which way we're going to be heading now," says Mayor A.J. Holloway.

Jerry Creel is the Community Development Director for the City of Biloxi.

"A comprehensive plan takes into consideration what you have as a city or county. An inventory of what you have. Develops a wish list of what you need. A time frame for getting there," he said, "We want to keep the historic aspect intact. We also want to recreate the downtown charm. And want to maximize the scenic opportunities along Beach Boulevard."

The planners say all cities have a distinct "sense of place" that creates character. For Biloxi, the water is an integral part of what shapes the city.

"It's obviously a terrific part of the history and the current strength of the city. And also the future in terms of recreation, special events, just giving it an amazing quality of place. It's unlike just about any other place," said Beckman.

Biloxi residents are invited to share their input to update the comprehensive plan.

The next meeting is Wednesday, December 10th at 8:00am at the Margaret Sherry Library on Popps Ferry Road in Biloxi.