LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Homeowners in one Lamar County neighborhood are less worried about the area being open to renters after the county's Planning Commission denied a rezoning request Tuesday.
The commission unanimously denied Richard Hyatt's effort to build 16 homes on two lots on Covington Place, which is off of Friend Road, near Oak Grove Road, just outside the Hattiesburg city limits.
Hyatt said the homes would have an appealing exterior, including a paved drive, much like his other properties in the county, and each home would be a rental property.
More than 10 opponents voiced their concerns with his proposal at Tuesday's meeting, which would have changed the zoning and land use from residential estate to high density for town homes, duplexes, triplexes, etc.
"We have many children that live here on this road, it's a culture," Friend Road resident Julie Hughs said of the area, which is a dead end on a narrow road. "We don't have homeowners associations fees, we don't have private security, we don't have a ski lake, but we do have families that are here on Friend Road, and we wanted to stop any extra traffic, any environmental impact, to our street."
Many of the opponents' concerns centered around the types of people who would rent, compared to the current make up of the neighborhood. Hyatt said some of his current renters are engineers and bankers, who take pride in their property.
He also responded to concerns about disposing wastewater, saying he already made plans with nearby subdivision Brookstone to use their system, which pumps to the City of Hattiesburg.
The planning commission's vote will be submitted to the Lamar County Board of Supervisors as a request to deny the development. The board will meet July 6 at 9 a.m. to cast that vote.