OCEAN SPRINGS -- Neighbors alerted city officials over the weekend that Scott and Trinity Walker have been advertising their spacious home at 435 East Beach as a commercial wedding venue without having a city permit.
And the city sent a letter Tuesday asking them to stop until they go through the process of getting a permit. It can be a lengthy process, but Trinity Walker told the Sun Herald that they plan to get the permit before renting out the house.
On Wednesday, Trinity Walker said the application has been "partially submitted online with payments and supporting documents being mailed in." Sometime this week, they can expect a letter from the city that will include all the laws and ordinances that apply to what the Walkers want to do with their home -- use it as a commercial venue and short-term rental -- the city building official said.
Once an application is filed, the permit process includes an inspection of the home, a delineation of parking on the property and a public hearing, among other things, the city official said.
Scott Walker, a well-known local businessman who ran for mayor, also served 16 months for white-collar crimes and was released Monday from federal custody. He pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy in cases involving the state Department of Marine Resources, where his father was director, and the city of D'Iberville. He and his young family live on prime real estate in the city.
Mayor Connie Moran said her phone lit up and was busy all Tuesday after Scott Walker mentioned the business in an interview on the front page of the Sun Herald, in a story about his release. She said people were concerned that he was skirting the law.
Moran said the Walkers should have filed their application "before ever advertising that their house was for rent, especially for commercial purposes that is not even appropriate in that zone."
She said, Trinity "just doesn't understand how it works."
Alderman Matt McDonnell heard from a neighbor over the weekend about the Walker's new business in the neighborhood.
The couple is advertising their home on a website as a high-end location for weddings, "a privately owned and operated venue created by Scott and Trinity Walker. The atmosphere is sheer elegance with the Gulf as your backdrop; it is truly unique."
The rental price they were advertising is $1,000 a day or $11,000 for a month.
Trinity Walker told the Sun Herald they have yet to rent out their home for any event, although they have had a few inquiries.
Justin Mitchell contributed to this story.