Should development be restricted?

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 4, 2016

This week several residents in the area of North Harvey Avenue of Picayune expressed concern about the possible construction of a multifamily building.

It was said the building would be capable of housing 12 families, and is being built in an area with only single-family homes.

Concerns expressed during the meeting focused on the fact that the contractor did not pull any permits and dirt was being put in the area, which is a flood zone.

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The residents were also concerned that such a development could attract the wrong kind of neighbors. 

Several factors are working against these citizens. First, the area is zoned for multifamily homes. Second, even though the developer did not pull the proper permits before starting 

construction, all they have to do now is play by the book and if the council approves a motion to combine the lots needed to construct the structure, there will be no stopping it. 

That means there’s not much the community 

can do to stop change from coming to their close-knit neighborhood. 

Which begs the question; should the public have more control over the type of construction that takes place near their homes, even though current zoning and city ordinances allow for it?

This can create a dangerous catch-22. By allowing the public too much control over land development, progress could stagnate, creating a situation where the city never grows. 

But at the same time, if developers are allowed to build whatever they want, even if it does abide by local laws, the serenity of residential areas could be affected negatively.

It seems as though the only recourse the residents of this area have is to find a way to convince the City Council not to approve combining the lots planned for development. 

If the council approves that motion, the citizens in that area have little recourse to prevent this development from moving forward.