Hattiesburg Council members testify in circuit court

Three Hattiesburg City Council members and a department head took the stand in circuit court Tuesday testifying in an appeal filed by Kenney Properties.

Larry Gunn, attorney for the company, is trying to overturn a council decision from August that denied a request to build apartments in the Highlands neighborhood along Beverly Hills Drive.

Gunn said the character of the neighborhood is changing, and a high-end student apartment complex would benefit the area.

City attorney Charles Lawrence argued there's no public need for more units, and the people in the neighborhood petitioned against the project.

Circuit Judge Roger Clark of Gulfport asked lawyers to submit zoning maps, saying once he reviews them he will issue a ruling. Clark is the same judge who heard an appeal from developers who wanted to build high-end apartments at the corner of West 7th and Beverly Hills Drive, near to the Kenny development.

Clark ruled in favor of the developer, and those apartments are almost complete.