Gulfport Fine Tunes Its Permitting Process

Charlie Pav and Milton Broome designed a new gem that sparkles against its downtown Gulfport backdrop. "We needed more room," Broome said, "to serve our customers and give them a little bit more modern environment. And this is what we've done and we're proud of it."

The red brick jewelry shop at Highway 49 and 19th Street was built in six months, so the Pav and Broome families could carry on a 28 year tradition.

Before the construction started, Broome heard horror stories about what it was like getting building permits from Gulfport. But, it turned out to be a piece of cake. "We had no problems with the city of Gulfport," he said. "They worked with us great. And we're tickled to death to be here."

According to Gulfport realtor Marvin Koury , the precision used to build the jewelry shop hasn't been used on every development project. "It's been difficult," Koury said. "It isn't impossible. You have to really stay on things of the punch list they give you."

Staying on top of the code enforcement punch list takes time. And time often costs money. Several developers have complained to the Gulfport Chamber about the permitting inconsistencies. So Koury and the chamber are going to brainstorm ideas that could help developers and the city work through its permitting issues.

"I know this," Koury said, "I've never had a problem that I couldn't go down and resolve. But that takes time."

Gulfport Urban Planner Sandy Baylor heard about the developers' concerns. So a year after she took over the department, she started meeting with developers before they submitted their construction plans. "We were letting the system work, rather than us working the system," she said.

Now there's more communication between everybody tied to a project. And Baylor believes that's produced a better permitting process.