Canal Street site not zoned for RV resort

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 19, 2008

NATCHEZ — If Natchez gets an RV resort, it likely won’t be on Canal Street.

On Thursday evening, the Natchez Planning Commission unanimously adopted an amendment that would only allow the construction of an RV resort in a B-4 zoned district.

That decision would directly hinder former Natchez mayor and Mississippi Department of Transportation Executive Director Larry L. “Butch” Brown’s proposed construction of an RV resort on South Canal Street.

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That location has a B-2 zoning classification.

Brown was not at Thursday’s meeting, but after the meeting Brown said the commission’s decision doesn’t leave many options.

“That only leaves us the avenue to appeal to the (Natchez) board of aldermen,” Brown said. “And we will.”

Brown stressed his project is not simply an RV resort and would include a hotel and restaurant.

“It’s not a trailer park,” he said.

Commission Chairwoman Deborah Martin said B-4 zoning designation could allow park construction in areas that are “major thoroughfares.”

Martin cited John R. Junkin Drive as an example of such a thoroughfare.

That B-4 classification is also used for areas that experience heavy commercial and light industrial use, Martin said.

The commission has been discussing the RV park issue since August when Brown first brought the matter to the commission.

“We put a lot of research and effort into this,” she said. “I think we did what’s best for the city as a whole.”

Commission member Kirk Bartley said he favored B-4 zoning because B-2 zoning could have negatively impacted those living near the proposed construction site.

And at past commission meetings, Natchez residents that would have been negatively impacted by the resort’s construction turned out in droves to protest the project.

The commission also adopted a motion that defines an RV resort at Thursday’s meeting.

However, both of the commission’s decisions must be approved by the Natchez Board of Aldermen.

Aldermen Bob Pollard said that won’t likely happened until the end of January.

That time frame doesn’t account for Brown’s appeal.