OK, parents, Saturday is registration day

A host of Biloxi parents are expected to line up Saturday morning at the Donal M. Snyder Sr. Community Center as citywide registration takes place for Biloxi’s popular summer camp – officially known as the Summer Playground and Enrichment Program.

Registration – Biloxi residents only – will be Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the Snyder Center, which is at 2520 Pass Road. Late registration and non-Biloxi registration will be weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through May 17 at the Biloxi Parks & Recreation Department, 377 Hiller Drive.

“This program is always a lot of fun for the campers and counselors,” says Parks and Recreation Director Cheryl Bell.  “Activities include arts and crafts, movies, organized games, weekly field trips, and each year we end the summer with a talent show.”

The summer camp is open to children ages 5 to 11, with a teen camp for those ages 12 to 14, and a sun camp for mentally and physically challenged children. This year, the camps, — Community Center, Lopez Elementary, North Bay Elementary, North Woolmarket Middle, Popp’s Ferry Elementary, and Woolmarket Elementary, — will run weekdays from Monday, June 3 to Friday, July 26, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. with extended care or latch-key, from 3 to 6 p.m.

“Slots fill up fairly quickly,” Bell said. “So we are asking parents to be prepared and have the required information and payment ready.”

Program fees for Biloxi residents:
–$10 registration fee
–$40 weekly fee for first child, $20 for each additional child
–$60 field trip fee per child – One -time fee
–$60 latch key fee per child – One-time fee

Program fess for non-Biloxi residents: 
–$20 registration fee
–$60 weekly fee for first child, $25 for each additional child
–$60 field trip fee per child – One-time fee
–$60 latch key fee per child – One-time fee

All fees must be paid at time of registration. In addition, the Mississippi State Health Department requires all parents and/or guardians to submit proof of residency, social security numbers, two emergency contacts numbers, a list of those who can pick up a child, health insurance information, and health information of a child on camp registration forms.
See more about the Summer Playground Program
Also this weekend: Shuckers and more
City Desk: Spring break recap, air show, Easter egg hunt and more

Short-term rental debate may be decided Tuesday

The years-old issue of short-term rentals – where dozens of properties have taken advantage of renting out properties for discerning visitors – may be fine tuned on Tuesday.

The City Council will conduct a special meeting Tuesday morning at 10:30 and the issue is scheduled for a vote during the council meeting Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.

A total of the 16 permitted short-term rentals have operated in Biloxi, but 252 applications have been submitted in recent weeks as property owners seek to be approved ahead of the proposed new regulations, which could require all applications to face Planning Commission and City Council approval as a “conditional use.”

The recent applications are all in areas where a short-term rental would be as a right. A total of 27 have been approved since the new deliberations began, and others would be grandfathered, avoiding the “conditional use” designation but would face annual renewals and inspections.

At issue: Residents complaining about disruption to their homes or nearby condo units vs. the rights of developers and investors to pursue what they see as a burgeoning market.

“Short-term rental has become a very controversial issue, especially in the multi-family zones,” said Biloxi Community Development Director Jerry Creel. “The interest we’re seeing today can be traced back to 2010, when the Land Development Ordinance was changed to allow short-term rentals in condos and apartment complexes – as a conditional use. This means that the applicant must comply with certain conditions; Planning Commission and City Council approval are also required.”

Added Creel: “In commercial zones, short-term rentals had been allowed without a conditional use, but the measure being discussed now would require the ‘conditional use’ process. It also should be noted that no short-term rentals are allowed in single-family residential zones, in the current or proposed regulations. The whole purpose is to protect the property rights of all.” 
See the regulations on short-term rentals 
Map: Short-term rentals, where and where not
The permitted short-term rentals, as of April 10, 2019
See the City Council agendas for Tuesday