Fayard Street closure revolves around parking

meperez@sunherald.com Twitter: MaryPerezSHJuly 16, 2014 

BILOXI -- The City Council on Tuesday sent a plan to vacate Fayard Street back to the Biloxi Planning Commission for more review because of how it will affect a pawn shop that has no parking for its customers except on the narrow street.

On June 5, the Planning Commission recommended the city vacate Anglada and Fayard streets from Bayview Avenue to the north, to Elder and Maxwell streets to the south, Reynoir to the east and Caillavet to the west.

Leonard and Izabella Alpert, who operate Thuy Land Pawn Shop at 452 Fayard St., appealed the decision to the City Council.

"Fayard Street is still a useful and traveled street," said Wayne Hengen, attorney for the Alperts.

The street is the access and parking for the shop that he said has been there for about 15 years.

Hengen offered as an alternative that the city leave enough of the street open for eight cars and a turnaround and said, "That's reasonable."

Attorney Michael Cavanaugh, representing IP Casino Resort and parent company Boyd Gaming, said Fayard Street is too narrow for parking, but the lack of parking for the business is not an issue.

"No one's guaranteed parking at the front door in the city of Biloxi," he said. "He bought a property that had no parking," and Cavanaugh suggested customers could park on Reynoir Street and walk down the sidewalk.

IP Casino wants to build a parking lot with landscaping at the site and Cavanaugh said the company has worked with two other businesses to make sure their trucks have access. To resolve the issue, he said the casino company will build a new street to make a wider turning radius for trucks.

Residents who said they grew up in the area and still live there told the council that closing Fayard serves no public good.

Councilman Felix Gines said he feels safety is an issue for customers at the pawn shop and the council asked the planning commission to come up with a plan that will accommodate the business.

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