Rezoning for housing at Forks approvedPublished 10:59am Tuesday, October 15, 2013
NATCHEZ — A developer seeking to build nine houses in the Forks of the Road area is one step closer to doing so.
The Natchez Planning Commission approved Monday a request from Chartre Consulting to rezone property near the Forks of the Road from R-4 to R-3 to allow the housing.
The planning meeting was rescheduled to Monday from Thursday because some of the applicants were not available for the Thursday meeting, City Planner Frankie Legaux said.
The Chartre houses would be on D’Evereux Drive between Concord Avenue and O’Ferrall Street. Chartre’s Old Bridge Place development, formerly named Stonehurst Arms, neighbors the property.
Friends of the Forks of the Road Coordinator Ser Seshsh ab Heter-C.M. Boxley spoke out against the development at the meeting, as he has at several meetings regarding Chartre’s developments at the Forks of the Road.
The Forks of the Road was once the site of the second-largest slave market in the country. Natchez National Historical Park Superintendent Kathleen Jenkins has said the Forks of the Road site is the only place in Natchez that has received international recognition by the United Nations because of its role in the international slave trade.
The National Park Service has completed a multi-year study to determine that the Forks of the Road site should ultimately be a part of the Natchez National Historical Park, Jenkins said, but the NPS is waiting for Congress to create the legislation that will declare the Forks a part of the park.
Chartre may donate a bayou area on part of the property, which is believed to be where slaves were held before they were sold, to NPS, Legaux said.
Initial plans for the property included 11 houses, but that has since been downsized.
The property will be accessed by a road off D’Evereux that will have a cul-de-sac, where seven of the nine houses will be built, Legaux said. The remaining two lots will be on the western most side of the property, Legaux said, nearest to D’Evereux. The Mississippi Department of Transportation has tentatively approved a joint driveway for those two houses, Legaux said.
The Natchez Board of Aldermen will decide at its Oct. 22 meeting whether to approve the rezoning recommendation from the planning commission.
If approved, the development’s site plan will then go to the planning commission for approval.