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Natchez, Miss., RV Resort Plan Debated

November 11, 2008 by   - () Leave a Comment

Should the city of Natchez, Miss., allow RV resorts and, if so, where?
Those are the two questions Natchez Planning Commission members agreed to put to a vote during their next board meeting Nov. 20.
But how they will vote may be the more important question after commission members discussed the issue for two hours Monday (Nov. 10) with little consensus, according to the Natchez Democrat.
At one point, board members were arguing against allowing RV resorts altogether, fearing that amending the zoning ordinance could open the city to less desirable RV parks.
“I don’t know that I would want it in downtown Natchez,” Kirk Bartley said. “What happens 10 years from now when it changes hands.”
At the same time commission members touted the economic benefits of RV resorts, saying that such a development would serve the tourism industry.
“If we are talking tourists, I think it will be conducive to that,” board member Karen Stubbs said.
Former mayor Larry L. “Butch” Brown wants to develop an RV resort in downtown Natchez. In order to do so the city zoning ordinance must be changed to allow RV resorts in the city limits.
An amendment allowing RV resorts as a special exception was passed during the planning commission’s last meeting, but city aldermen sent the issue back for re-examination.
During Monday’s workshop, board members discussed the various zoning districts that could be open to RV resorts. Brown’s proposed property is in a B-2 zone.
Most board members expressed approval to the proposed property but had reservations about the possibility of such developments in other B-2 districts.
Despite disagreement on where RV resorts should be allowed, commission members agreed that the definition of these developments would be strict, requiring substantial landscaping, amenities and buffer zones.
The current definition under consideration would require owners to landscape 40% of the property and to provide luxury items like swimming pools, tennis courts and fitness rooms. Also a buffer zone with a fence and evergreen landscaping would be required along the perimeter.

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