RV resort could destroy our jewel

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why are some citizens of Natchez voicing their opposition to a change in a zoning ordinance that would allow an RV resort to be located in a B-2 zone within the city limits of Natchez? Why are they asking that the resort be located in a B-4 zone that has the potential for less residential impact?

Are they so against progress, prosperity and change that they stubbornly hold on to what is instead of what can be? Perhaps they are like a group of citizens from the Spartanburg, S.C., area that have opposed the building of a similar park close to their properties. It is remarkable that people from two disparate neighborhoods would be so like minded. Here are some of the concerns from the citizens in South Carolina that echo the same concerns of citizens here in Natchez.

This information comes from the Tryon Daily Bulletin. Several citizens are worried about increased traffic and water supply contamination risk. There is also concern about the appearance of the park. One resident stated his biggest concern is that the RV resort will fail and the remaining infrastructure will be one of empty concrete pads. He went on to cite the downturn in the economy and high gas prices that could cause the project to falter. Although the residents have been assured that the landscaping of the resort will provide an adequate buffer between the park and privately owned property, some residents aren’t convinced.

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These residents think that the proposed location is the wrong site and has the potential to depreciate residential property.

The residents refer to their corner of the world as a “little jewel” that needs the protection and wise counsel of their elected leaders to preserve what makes the area special. Sound familiar?

Natchez is our “little jewel.” I live at the end of South Union St., and I have personally seen and talked to tourists that are walking around the neighborhood. There are no houses “on tour” at the end of our street, but tourists like to walk down to the end of the street because it is a pleasant reminder of what neighborhoods once were and still can be. It is a selling point for Natchez that such neighborhoods exist today, and it speaks to the wisdom of our leaders that such neighborhoods are still intact.

Why is there opposition to the proposed RV resort being located in a B-2 zone?

The velocity of change has the potential to undo what has taken several lifetimes to accomplish.

The citizens that are concerned are fearful of exactly that.

I am one of those citizens.

Mary Ann DOWNS is a resident of downtown Natchez.