Mayor again proposes eminent domain for Porter Avenue site

Mayor A.J. Holloway on Tuesday will again ask members of the Biloxi City Council to authorize eminent domain proceedings to begin to help the city acquire property to be used for a Lighthouse Park.

An earlier request for eminent domain died after a 3-3 vote by the council. Councilman Bill Stallworth was absent for that meeting.

The measure is one of two dozen issues on the agenda for the council’s 1:30 p.m. meeting Tuesday at City Hall. Also included on the agenda are hearings for 14 code enforcement cases, a process where the city either compels property owners to clean their property of trash, high grass or other code issues, or performs the work and adds the cost to the property’s tax assessment.

Holloway’s request for the use of eminent domain involves the city’s desire to acquire a 1.67-acre of land on the west side of Porter Avenue. The Reviving the Renaissance initiative and the city’s Architectural and Historic Review Commission both advocated the city acquiring the property, which has been a continual code-enforcement issue for the city.

The property is also the subject of a second measure on the agenda Tuesday. The council may decide whether it will affirm the AHRC’s denial of a fence design proposed by property owner Hayes Bolton, who is under court order to erect an AHRC-approved fence at the site, which is at the corner of Porter Avenue and U.S. 90, in the shadow of the Biloxi Lighthouse.

To read the complete agenda, click here.

Council to consider contract for update of comprehensive plan

Mayor A.J. Holloway on Tuesday will propose that the city enter a contract with a planning firm to update the city’s pre-Katrina comprehensive plan.

Holloway is proposing that the city engage the firm Wallace, Roberts and Todd, which has done planning work in Baltimore; Charleston County and Hilton Head, S.C.; Coral Springs, Fla.; and East Hampton, N.Y.

The comprehensive plan is a public statement about the future growth and development of the city. The plan, which is mandated by the state, is a guide to address such issues as transportation, utilities, land use and other quality of life issues.

The update, expected to take as long as a year, is expected to cost $650,000 and will be funded by state and federal grants. To city’s pre-Katrina comprehensive plan, titled “Vision: 2020,” click here.

Weekend preview: Concerts, concert traffic, etc.

Coast Coliseum director Bill Holmes is suggesting that those attending the sold-out concert by Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood should plan to arrive early Saturday because of Beach Boulevard road construction.

The Coliseum also plans to use satellite parking at the former Broadwater golf course site and open an extra parking lot entrance and exit off Briarfield Avenue, west of the Coliseum.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, meantime, are in town tonight, performing at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino.

For a look at this weekend’s overall entertainment lineup, courtesy of listings from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, click here.

News and notes

Pitch, Hit and Run: The city’s Parks and Recreation Department will host a free Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run Competition for area youth on Saturday, March 1 at 10 a.m. at the Biloxi Sports Complex. For details, click here.

Webcasting: Among the topics on this week’s City Desk webcast is the city’s new online “General Market Analysis,” also known as the book on Biloxi. To listen to the eight-minute program, click here.