Vote on apartment complex tabled

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 7, 2001

NATCHEZ – The Natchez Zoning Board of Adjustments voted Thursday night to table until next month consideration of a variance to allow an eight-unit apartment complex at 12 Beech Street.

The action was taken to allow developer J.T. Robinson to further explain his plans to owners of property around the site, board members said.

Several residents who spoke at the meeting said the development would make traffic congestion in the area worse.

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&uot;The area is already congested,&uot; said Henrietta Whitley, who has lived next to the site for 26 years. &uot;You can’t hardly get up and down the street as it is, and the (members of a nearby church) can’t hardly park.&uot;

Some also said they did not want strangers to move into their neighborhood and cause trouble.

&uot;We all know one another,&uot; said Willie Mae Hughes, a nearby resident. &uot;We don’t want strangers to come in. If anything goes wrong, they’ll blame our children, because they’re always playing around there.&uot;

Property owners against the development also submitted a petition with more than 50 signatures, said Assistant City Planner Gretchen Kuechler.

But Bill McGehee, representing developer Robinson, said his client wants to build high-quality rental property, surrounded by a security gate and with off-street parking.

Magee also noted that since four parcels are zoned R-2, or two-family residential, Robinson would be allowed to build duplexes to house a total of eight families on the site anyway.

&uot;I don’t want to be a problem for the people in the neighborhood for something they dislike. And the traffic and the number of people will still be the same&uot; as it would be if duplexes were there, Robinson said.

In other business, the board approved a variance to allow Veronica Montgomery to operate a short-order caf\u00E9 with the sale of beer at 912 Martin Luther King Jr. St.

That variance was given with several conditions, including no outside telephones, no trash on the site and hours of operation no later than 9 p.m.

The owner must also apply for a sign permit and submit a parking plan for the city’s approval.