By Kelly Bryant
With a 4-0 vote, the Hattiesburg Planning Commission met today and approved a proposal to develop a Katrina Cottage subdivision to Sullivan Drive in Palmer's Crossing, despite opposition by some residents.
One resident, Nathan Jordan, said in the meeting, "We want to say no to this."
Nathan Jordan represents the Community Action Team of Palmer's Crossing, and submitted a statement to the city discouraging the cottages, stating they will bring down property values, as well as discussing other issues in the community that they believe need to be addressed before any new projects are proposed in that area.
Jordan says this approval will not stop the Community Action Team's efforts to fight the development, saying "We will not stop here. It will not happen. If we have to go to court, from here to Washington D.C., wherever's necessary to stop this from happening. We live in this community, these people with 3RSM don't live in this community, we know what's good for us."
However, Sheila Varnado of R3SM, the company behind the proposed development, says there is a need for improved housing and this project will prove to be positive.
Varnado said, "It will only help to increase the entire community. And why Palmer's Crossing? because we know there's a need in Palmer's Crossing. Because we've had a presence in Palmer's Crossing. Because we got support from people who live in Palmer's Crossing."
At the meeting, R3SM leaders said they will take care of overgrown areas, add streetlights, and bring more homeowners, not renters, to the area. The proposed design of the 1, 2, and 3 bedroom cottages was shown, displaying free standing houses on separate lots.
Although R3SM's project is still up in the air, the Community Action Team of Palmers Crossing says they will continue to fight to keep them out of their neighborhood.