Commission declines Senior Services rezoning request


The Biloxi Planning Commission has declined to recommend that Seashore Retirement Community be rezoned for possible condominiums. 

The commission voted against the proposal after people from the neighborhood and members of Leggett Memorial United Methodist Church, located next door, raised objections. The proposal was for the western part of the campus, which is owned by Mississippi Methodist Senior Services, Inc. 

Wayne Hengen, a lawyer for Methodist Senior Services, had asked the property be rezoned from long-term multiple-family use to hospitality business use. He said Senior Services planned to use the property for short-term rentals for construction workers and in the longer term, put a luxury resort there. 

The Rev. David Cumbest, chairman of the board of trustees for the Seashore Assembly, also objected. He said he learned of the proposed sale of the property after reading about it in a newspaper. 

The property proposed for the rezoning is being used to house senior citizens, but Hengen said only about 60 of the 324 units are occupied. He said Methodist Senior Services does not think this is a suitable use for the property after Hurricane Katrina, which has changed the character of the neighborhood. 

The vote from the Planning Commission, which is a recommending body, does not stop the application process. The Biloxi City Council has final say on rezoning matters.

(Information for this story was obtained from the “Sun-Herald” newspaper.)