FunTime surprised by property owner’s withdraw of zoning request
GULFPORT -- The property owners for a proposed FunTime USA amusement park have withdrawn their request for rezoning of the property, but park co-owners Romy Simpson and Rafe O'Neal say they are moving ahead with plans to rebuild the popular attraction Hurricane Katrina destroyed.
FunTime owners still hope to rebuild on property they would initially lease on U.S. 90 at the foot of Cowan Road.
Simpson and O'Neal were in front of city hall handing out T-shirts to supporters before the a City Council meeting started Tuesday afternoon. The council was supposed to consider rezoning a portion of the FunTime property for major business use, the zoning already in place for the other part of the land. The Planning Commission has twice approved the request, but the council initially rejected it.
Simpson and O'Neal had hoped to reopen the park in June, but construction has not started because of the zoning issue.
Ward 2 Councilman Ricky Dombrowski, who represents the area, has opposed the zoning change because some residents north of the property are worried about noise and traffic.
O'Neal said the noisiest component of the park, a go-cart track, will be located on the property's south end to minimize noise. Supporters also say there is a buffer zone between the park and neighbors. The owners also plan to plant fast-growing trees to minimize noise.