Derelict slabs being removed; other news and notes

Derelict foundations are being removed from a dozen properties in Biloxi, including a couple of high-profile locations on the waterfront, thanks to efforts of property owners and the city’s Code Enforcement Division.

“The City Council had passed a moratorium that kept us from taking action on this,” said Community Development Director Jerry Creel, “but since that moratorium expired on Oct. 1, we’ve been contacting owners of properties where these foundations existed, and we’re seeing work being done to remove these eyesores.

“In fact, we’ve issued 12 permits, and in 11 cases, the property owners are clearing the property right now, and the 12th one is expected to begin shortly.”

Among the high-profile foundations being removed are those at the site of the storm-destroyed St. Charles condominiums on west beach, and a former apartment complex at Seal Avenue and U.S. 90.

Creel said the code-enforcement efforts are focusing on foundations that are above ground level because they are considered building debris. Most, also, do not meet new flood elevations and engineers have been hesitant to certify them as structurally sound.

“Foundations that are grade level, in most cases, can be reused for patios or additional parking,” Creel added. “Also, we are not requiring driveways or sidewalks to be removed as long as they are at grade level. Retaining walls will not be removed unless they present a life safety issue.”

Property owners who plan to remove concrete slabs should obtain a demolition permit, which is free, from the city’s Community Development Department, which is on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in downtown Biloxi and can be reached at 435-6280

News and notes

PD director: Mayor A.J. Holloway has notified the City Council that he will submit a nomination for director of the Biloxi Police Department for the council’s next scheduled meeting, which takes place Dec. 1. Since state statute prohibits council members from limiting the term of an acting director, Linda Atterberry continues to serve as head of the department. To see Holloway’s notification to the council, click here.

Weekend preview: The 26th annual Mayor’s Cup 5K Run takes place Saturday in downtown Biloxi. To see how you can enter the run — or walk the route — click here.
Elsewhere in the city this weekend, you’ll find TV’s Jay Leno at the Beau Rivage, country artist Darius Rucker at the Hard Rock, comedian Eddie Griffin at the IP, and the 57th annual Mississippi Gulf Coast Camellia Show at the MSU center on Popp’s Ferry Road. For details on these events and others, click here.

Gulfport or Biloxi?: Biloxi, which BusinessWeek named Mississippi’s “best place to raise your kids” for 2009, also figured into the rankings for 2010, sort of. A dated photograph accompanying Gulfport’s recognition this year showed the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi and the Biloxi waterfront. Even more curious is the nearest city to Gulfport, according to BusinessWeek. That city? Gulfport. To see a copy of BusinessWeek’s online display published this week, click here.

Comprehensive plan: An overview of the city’s Comprehensive Plan, as shown in a PowerPoint presented to the City Council on Tuesday, is now on the city’s web site, in the Comprehensive Plan section. To see the presentation, click here.