City pursues charges against front-beach property owner

The City of Biloxi this morning will be pursuing contempt-of-court charges against a property owner whose beachfront property is in the shadow of the Biloxi Lighthouse.

Hayes Bolton, whose property is on U.S. 90 at Porter Avenue, told Harrison County Court Judge Robin Midcalf in March that if the city agreed to reduce charges and fines, he would bring his property into compliance within 30 days.

Bolton’s property was originally cited for violations that included an accumulation of trash, debris and junk; improperly filling a drainage ditch; and encroaching into buffer zones. Bolton faced fines of $3,000.

Under an agreement proposed by Bolton and approved by the court, Bolton said if he were given more time and fines were reduced, he would bring his property into compliance.

“Mr. Bolton made no effort to clean his property or meet the 30-day deadline,” said Community Development Director Jerry Creel, whose department is responsible for enforcing city land-use and zoning codes. “He failed to meet the deadline and even refused help from FEMA debris-removal contractors.”

The city asked in July that Bolton be found in contempt of court.

Said Creel: “The city is now proceeding with contempt of court charges and the reinstitution of all charges and fines based on the fact that Mr. Bolton has basically thumbed his nose at the authority of the court.”