BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The Preliminary Subdivision Plan for what is currently being called Bertucci Subdivision phase one received a unanimous vote to proceed with construction. Phase one will include 111single family residential lots comprising of a little more than 27 acres.
This case was approved provided that the owner, Dr. Greg Betrucci, provide no less than ten feet of space on Atkinson Road for modifications to the infrastructure to include at least another turn lane at the intersection at Popp’s Ferry Road.
Also up for a vote Thursday was the removal of 133 of the 577 trees that are currently positioned in the area of the phase one development.
“Many times when someone looks at a case like this, the advertisement for it, all they see are the numbers, that 133 trees are going to be removed," said Jerry Creel, Biloxi Community Development Director. “In this case, the design of the project was done in such a way that the main trees, the majestic trees on the property are being saved. The ones that are being removed are some that might not be healthy trees or full-grown trees. Some of them are water oaks, which typically rot a lot faster on the inside. We believe the designer and the developer did a great job designing around the trees that need to be saved so that they would be a focal point for the project."
Removal of protected trees in Biloxi comes at a price. The mitigation ordinance works to replace those trees at a higher rate than they were removed.
“The language in the ordinance says that our job is to find that delicate balance between promoting economic development and saving as many protected trees as possible. In the case where trees to have to be removed, which happens frequently, the developer is required by ordinance to replace the removed trees at a 1-3 ratio. So, they would replace three trees for every one protected tree that’s removed," Creel told WLOX.
The Biloxi Planning Commission unanimously approved the tree removal case.