Board upholds planning commission’s ruling

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 24, 2001

Natchez aldermen say they want a proposed $3 million townhouse complex, they just don’t want it on Old Washington Road.

In a unanimous vote, the aldermen upheld the recommendation of the Natchez Metro Planning Commission and denied an application by Chartre Consulting to rezone land near Holiday Apartments from single-family residential to multi-family residential.

They agreed with the concerns of the commission and neighborhood residents that the complex would add to traffic congestion, noise and litter problems associated with nearby Holiday Apartments.

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Christopher Knott of Trustmark Construction, who represented the developers at the meeting, said the complex should not be compared to the rent-subsidized Holiday Apartments.

The 40 units they hope to build would be &uot;upscale&uot; townhouses, designed for the average working person, who would have the option to purchase the unit after 15 years.

Ward 5 Alderman David Massey asked Knott to put himself in the shoes of the residents, who constantly deal with problems at Holiday Apartments.

Speaking for the board, Massey said they would like to see the complex located in Natchez, but Old Washington Road could not accommodate it.

Ward 6 Alderman Jake Middleton agreed, saying the proposed complex should be viewed as economic development.

After the meeting, Knott said he plans to look at another site for the complex, one suggested by city officials. &uot;The way it stands now, I’m just laying this the city’s hands and letting them put me where they want me,&uot; he said.

The Old Washington Road site was the third proposed for the complex and the second to be turned down by the board of aldermen.

Because part of the funding for the project would come from Mississippi HOME&160;Corporation tax credits, Knott said the developers are limited by census tracts as to where the complex could be built.

City Planner David Preziosi said the city’s comprehensive plan calls for another 1,851 multi-family units within the next 20 years to keep up with the housing needs.