Natchez, Miss., Divided Over RV Resort Plan

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November 24, 2008 by   - () Leave a Comment

The planning commission in Natchez, Miss., has opted not to make a decision on an RV zoning change just yet.
The decision to allow an “upscale RV resort” in the B-2 zoning district of the city was revisited at the regular meeting last week and several questions were raised, according to the Natchez Democrat.
Commission Chairwoman Deborah Martin said first the commissioners needed to decide whether they want an RV resort within city limits. If they decide they do, Martin said the next question to answer is in what zone.
But the commissioners never got to answer either question, because they unanimously agreed a clear definition of an RV resort must first be established.
“We need to look at this carefully,” commissioner Linda Futrell said. “Let’s get a definition, and let’s go forward from there.”
The motion read that the commissioners must table the decision until there is a firm definition. Also, the commission wants a market survey to be conducted to see if there is a true benefit to having an RV resort. Finally, the commission wants more information to see how – if allowed – RV resorts would affect the historic district.
The final stipulation of the motion is that everything needs to be wrapped up by the board’s next regular meeting, in December.
Resident Ron Fry said he understands looking at the resort as a way to bring in tourism. But he said it’s a 'catch 22.'
By bringing in the resort, he said, it will take away the value of Natchez that brings in tourists.
“If we don’t retain the very essence of what Natchez is and cultivate it and sustain it, I don’t believe anyone will come to Natchez,” Fry said.
One resident presented a petition with nearly 245 signatures of residents objecting a text amendment.
The discussion of the resort began when former mayor and Mississippi Department of Transportation Executive Director Larry L. “Butch” Brown proposed the development at the commission’s August meeting.

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