Hattiesburg rezoning concerns downtown residents - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg rezoning concerns downtown residents

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

A rezoning issue in downtown Hattiesburg has attracted the interest of citizens after a vacant convenience store that was once considered a nuisance is being bought to reopen.

The corner of Bay Street and Southern Avenue was incorrectly zoned as a residential area in 1989, but it has served as a spot for a convenience store and a florist shop for several decades.

"It's very important that we keep ours as a business, so we need it to be zoned commercial, commercial-residential," said Coughlin Florist owner Faye Whiddon.

Marvin Arrington, who grew up near the area, is in the process of buying the lot where the vacant gas station is located with plans to reopen a convenience store. In order to do so, he had to request the area be zoned as commercial rather than residential.

"We're not trying to cause any problems," he said after a public hearing Monday evening. "We just want to have a legitimate business to raise our family."

Opponents to the rezoning said that the previous store location attracted things that were not characteristic to the historic downtown area. Some examples in Monday's hearing were indecent behavior, loitering and poor upkeep of the lot.

"I've lived close to the property for excess of ten years, and it just hasn't been kept up," said Bay Street resident Lloyd Munn.

Munn and other residents said they are not opposed to businesses in the area, but they are weary of that location due to its history.

"We want to make sure that anything that is done is scrutinized under code and is done the correct way," said Munn.

Councilwoman Mary Dryden, who represents that area in Ward 4, agreed with Munn about the code being upheld for businesses in the district.

"It's not about a piece of property and how much money it would bring," she said. "It's about preserving what they've created there. It's become a lifestyle."

Arrington did not provide details of his plans for the outward appearance of the store, but he told the council that he would provide them with plan as soon as possible per request of Ward 3 Councilman Carter Carroll.

In a July 2 regular meeting of the Hattiesburg Planning Commission, the request to rezone both the vacant store location and the floral shop were approved 4-1. The city council is set to vote on the rezoning in Tuesday's meeting.

Copyright 2014 WDAM. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • WDAM has learned more about the car wreck that killed 20 year old Tyone Clemons.

    More details revealed in wreck that killed EMCC athlete

    More details revealed in wreck that killed EMCC athlete

    Monday, November 20 2017 11:35 PM EST2017-11-21 04:35:30 GMT
    Tyone Clemons. SOURCE: EMCC AthleticsTyone Clemons. SOURCE: EMCC Athletics

    WDAM has learned more about the car wreck that killed 20 year old Tyone Clemons. He was an East Mississippi Community College defensive lineman, and was a former West Jones High School all star athlete. Jessica Bowman was at the scene in Jones County Monday learning more about who Clemons was in the car with and what happened during this deadly accident Saturday morning.  Best Friends, teammates and brothers. That's what best describes 20 year old Tyone Clemons and 19 year old T...

    More >>

    WDAM has learned more about the car wreck that killed 20 year old Tyone Clemons. He was an East Mississippi Community College defensive lineman, and was a former West Jones High School all star athlete. Jessica Bowman was at the scene in Jones County Monday learning more about who Clemons was in the car with and what happened during this deadly accident Saturday morning.  Best Friends, teammates and brothers. That's what best describes 20 year old Tyone Clemons and 19 year old T...

    More >>
  • Over 400 auto burglaries in Hattiesburg, HPD turns to technology to help

    Over 400 auto burglaries in Hattiesburg, HPD turns to technology to help

    Monday, November 20 2017 11:02 PM EST2017-11-21 04:02:19 GMT
    Photo credit: WDAMPhoto credit: WDAM

    So far, in 2017 the Hattiesburg Police Department has recorded 454 auto burglaries in the Hub City. MOBILE USERS WATCH LIVE HERE An auto burglary is considered a “Part 1 Offense,” and it’s one thing the police department is setting their sights on reducing. “Any citizen of Hattiesburg should be able to go to the actual local shopping center and go there and not have to worry about their vehicle getting broken in to," said Hattiesburg Police De...

    More >>

    So far, in 2017 the Hattiesburg Police Department has recorded 454 auto burglaries in the Hub City. MOBILE USERS WATCH LIVE HERE An auto burglary is considered a “Part 1 Offense,” and it’s one thing the police department is setting their sights on reducing. “Any citizen of Hattiesburg should be able to go to the actual local shopping center and go there and not have to worry about their vehicle getting broken in to," said Hattiesburg Police De...

    More >>
  • USM blasts Blue Mountain, 90-46

    USM blasts Blue Mountain, 90-46

    Monday, November 20 2017 10:30 PM EST2017-11-21 03:30:48 GMT
    Photo credit: USMPhoto credit: USM

    The University of Southern Mississippi opened play in the Sanford Pentagon Showcase Monday night about 1,100 miles from the site of the round-robin tournament’s next three rounds. 

    More >>

    The University of Southern Mississippi opened play in the Sanford Pentagon Showcase Monday night about 1,100 miles from the site of the round-robin tournament’s next three rounds. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly