Jackson County

Ocean Springs aldermen side with homeowner: Cut cedar, make driveway safer

OCEAN SPRINGS -- Homeowner Janet Stennis won her appeal. The tree's getting snuffed.

The Board of Aldermen unanimously voted to let her cut a cedar tree crowding the driveway in her yard in the 600 block of Jackson Avenue.

Stennis will plant two cedars to take its place, each at least 4 inches in diameter.

The city Tree Protection Committee had ruled against Stennis' request suggesting she redesign her driveway. But on Tuesday night, her alderman, Matt McDonnell said that would be too much to ask of her and would take up too much of her yard.

Stennis, who said she has lived in the home three years and made many improvements to it, said after the meeting she was grateful.

Stennis has a narrow, shell driveway and the cedar tree made widening it difficult to impossible.

She said the driveway barely accommodates a single vehicle, never mind her 36-foot motor home or the trailer that holds two personal watercraft.

Backing her vehicles in and out of the narrow driveway is risky, time consuming and holds up traffic on Jackson Avenue, she told the aldermen.

A wider driveway for her, she told city leaders, will be safer for her and the traffic on Jackson Avenue.