Meeting could yield condo compromise

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 4, 2006

What will likely be a sensible compromise to the controversy surrounding the condos planned for the Natchez bluffs is a simple meeting scheduled for next month.

The Historic Natchez Foundation has initiated the meeting, which will bring together planners and architects for the condo project as well as consultant Chris Chadborne and architectural delineator James Piatt.

Piatt is known as an artist as well as an architect, while Chadborne is quite familiar with Natchez &045; he wrote the Chadborne study on which much of our planning for the riverfront and downtown has been based.

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Bringing these professionals together in a meeting of minds and creative sensibilities could be a boon to the project itself.

The Natchez Preservation Commission had tabled a decision on the condo project design, noting it does not yet meet the standards of the city’s preservation ordinance.

But developers Larry Brown Jr. and Ed Worley have asked for an extension, and it seems all of the parties involved are committed to a compromise.

As the Foundation’s Mimi Miller said, most residents in Natchez are in favor of the condominium project &045; but they are concerned about what it will look like.

The controversy over the project has so far included a threat from the city to tear down the pecan factory &045; where the condos will sit &045; without state approval; protests from a group of concerned citizens; and even calls for removal of the mayor and board of aldermen.

Next month’s meeting of the architects and preservation advocates could help put that controversy behind us and allow the developers and the city to move forward with this project.