Harrison County

Long Beach meeting Tuesday on proposed RV park, subdivision

Ward 4 Alerdman Ronald Hammons
Ward 4 Alerdman Ronald Hammons

A Long Beach alderman is hoping a proposed RV resort and development in west Long Beach will help kick-start the city and bring needed revenue.

Ward 4 Alderman Ronald Hammons posted a notice on his Facebook page asking residents to attend a 5 p.m. meeting Tuesday night at City Hall.

The proposal calls for an RV resort to be developed on the south end of the parcel that runs from the beach to railroad tracks between Markham Drive and Marcie Drive, with a subdivision of 30 single-family dwellings on the north end.

According to the public-hearing notice posted by the city, property owner Huong Henry Le requested a Zone Map change from the Planning Commission on Jan. 28 for the property from R-1 for residential to C-2B, beachfront commercial.

The Planning Commission approved a change, changing the north end of the property from R-1 to R-4, which is residential farm. The public hearing is to request that the aldermen change it to C-2B as originally requested.

"As alderman for Ward 4, I thought the citizens of Long Beach might not know about a public hearing," Hammons said in his Facebook post. "We will be voting on a zone change for an RV resort and 30 single-dwelling home sites.

"I personally think this is an opportunity to give a boost to our businesses, schools and the citizens of Long Beach. Come to the meeting and make an informed decision for yourself."

The property in question is in an area of Long Beach that has been left largely undeveloped since Hurricane Katrina wiped out most of the homes and businesses south of the railroad tracks in 2005.

According to a map Hammons posted on Facebook, only a handful of homes have been built back in the area.

Hammons said the development is intended to help Long Beach get some work going and generate some new taxes in the city.

"The state of Mississippi has 31 percent in sales tax and 24 percent in property tax," he said. "Mainly, we'll be getting sales tax from the rentals. Not only will restaurants and businesses benefit from this, but it will have the trickle effect.

"The schools also will get their tax and there has been a strain on schools because of a lack of taxes."

Hammons said he hopes this development can prompt other growth in the city.

Residents around the proposed development have expressed concern an RV park will depreciate the value of the property around it.

"But if that were the case, why would the developer add 30 single-family dwellings behind it? That wouldn't be a good business decision," Hammons said. "Long Beach has to look at the bird in the hand here. I'm very pro-business. It's why I ran and I think this could help offset some of the costs we're looking at.

"The grants we had (after Katrina) have run out and now we have to pay for the upkeep on the new City Hall and fire department. Insurance costs south of the tracks have hurt us. Who wants to build a house 15 feet in the air?"

Hammons said people he has spoken to and those who have commented on his Facebook post seem to be in favor of the development. He's asking them to come to the public meeting to voice that approval.

"I'm worried that only the people who oppose it will show up for the meeting."