Council votes to hear concerns regarding Great Southern Golf Club development at later date

On Tuesday, dozens filled the Gulfport council chambers to have their voices heard, but that mission was short-lived.
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 10:16 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A development planned for the former Great Southern Golf Club site has neighbors speaking out.

They listed their concerns Tuesday afternoon at the Gulfport City Council meeting.

We’ve been keeping you up to date on a 177 home development set to be built on the historic golf course.

Several residents from Mockingbird Lane and Southern Circle aren’t on board with how the subdivision will connect to their neighborhood.

“We just wanted to voice our concerns,” said Benjamin Simms.

On Tuesday, dozens filled the Gulfport council chambers to have their voices heard, but that mission was short-lived.

The council voted unanimously to discuss the issue at a later date.

“Quite frankly, the citizens weren’t heard today on a technicality, and that is unfortunate,” said Mayor Billy Hewes. “The good news is there will be an opportunity to speak on this to object raised concerns at the final plat. This is a general plat, which is another technicality.”

Council members were advised by their legal team in this stage of the citizen’s appeal to not take any action at this time.

“The neighbors have not said ‘no’ to the development. They think there is a reasonable alternative of whatever is built to be reflective of lot size, density concerns, and those sorts of things,” Hews said.

WLOX News reached out to the developer of the Great Southern Gulf Club. Arbor Properties President Gordon Thames said he’s optimistic about the development and future.

Residents said they’re disappointed the council took no action.

“We want to make Gulfport better; we want to make it safer. We want the health, safety, and welfare of these citizens be heard. We felt that the planning commission did not receive that,” said resident Ken Kroupa.

“The entire time we’ve spent and the money and the application we put in was on the grounds not only of the opinion of the commission but also for the inaccuracies in the record that they did not call on the necessary public officials,” said Benjamin Simms, another resident.

Simms referenced international fire code violations, drainage issues, and environmental concerns as a tipping point.

He also said this isn’t the end of their fight.

“We won’t give up but it sure is a shame you have to bring a lot of elderly women and men out here just to have a technicality that they know they’re going to have show up in a couple of months,” said Simms.

The council did not mention when this issue would return to the agenda.

When it does, we’ll keep you updated.

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