Judge upholds Biloxi bed-and-breakfast ordinance

Harrison County Circuit Court Judge Stephen B. Simpson has upheld the City of Biloxi’s bed-and-breakfast ordinances in the city’s new Land Development Ordinance, dismissing a challenge that had been filed by Green Oaks LLC.

Managing member Jennifer Diaz claimed that the ordinance placed severe and harmful restrictions, and that the actions were arbitrary and not supported by substantial evidence.

However, Simpson ruled that the city was within its legislative powers when it adopted the ordinance, and, cited a previous decision where a court found that when they make decisions, city leaders, in the weighing and balancing of competing interests in a community, will “in all likelihood adversely affect some of its members for the betterment of the community as whole.”

The ruling, which Simpson signed Dec. 30, is the second dismissal a court has made of a claim by Green Oaks. The first action sought to enjoin the city against enacting the Land Development Ordinance.

The city now plans to proceed with its own pending action in Chancery Court, asking for a ruling that Green Oaks is not a legal non-conforming use as a result of its activities before the ordinance was adopted.

“We’re pleased but not surprised by this latest ruling,” City Attorney Ronnie Cochran. said. “We felt that we were doing the right thing all along. The remaining case, which the city has brought forward in Chancery Court, essentially says that Green Oaks is a bed and breakfast, but not a commercial meeting facility.”