City’s system did its job this weekPublished 12:05am Friday, January 11, 2013
No matter what the critics — and plenty exist — will say, the Natchez Preservation Commission members did exactly what they were asked to do Wednesday night.
The volunteer board is charged with making their best, educated decision on matters that affect the appearance and historic nature of the city’s designated historic districts.
Common sense tells most of us that an oilrig doesn’t fit in a historic district. The preservation commission agreed.
Some people at Wednesday’s meeting were annoyed that the issue was even before the commission again. They had, after all, already said “no” last year.
But the developer seeking to drill for oil on the historic Arlington property had changed his proposal, worked with city officials and come back for a second chance.
He has every right to request such a review, and it’s refreshing to know that city leaders were working with him, seeking a compromise that could work.
It didn’t work, but that’s not the point here.
If city leaders show a willingness to assist business and businesses show a willingness to work within citywide concerns, the system is working.
Such compromise talks, though, don’t negate the role of the preservation commission — the board charged solely with preserving the treasures that make Natchez different from nearly every other Mississippi city.
The process worked Wednesday, and that’s something of which to be proud, regardless of what happens next.