Aldermen’s choice is easy, no RVs

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 8, 2009

Voters in Natchez who read The Democrat on Friday, Dec. 19 and Saturday, Dec. 20 should be very proud of the action taken by the city zoning and planning commission on Dec. 18.

The commission disallowed the effort by developers to locate an RV park in a B-2 zone near the central business district and bordering on the Natchez Historical District.

The decision was not made easily nor in haste. Following months of public meetings and workshops, reviewing RV zoning in other historic towns such as Vicksburg and Oxford, and considering the comments of several hundred voters who have weighed in on the subject so far, the commission concluded that the an RV park in a B-2 zone within the city’s central business district would have a negative impact on the residents of Natchez.

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Rightfully, the commission chairman said the commission “worked hard to find something in the best interest of Natchez.”

The commission decided to allow special exceptions for an RV park in areas zoned B-4, which is a highly commercial zone.

Natchez is facing a moment of truth. Its public servants must have wisdom, courage and voter support to protect and promote its significant national history, historical neighborhoods and viable central business district for the benefit of all Natchez citizens present and future.

Natchez should not make the mistake of allowing one influential individual property owner to pursue personal goals at the expense of the best interests of the city and its citizens.

Economic growth is vital to the future of Natchez, but the city must exercise great care in choosing new businesses that are appropriately placed and do not encroach improperly on our business district and neighborhoods.

The commission has spoken and so have hundreds of petitioning voters. Now it is up to the aldermen. Their job should be easy. The commission has made it clear that an RV park does not belong in a B-2 zone.

Douglas Mauro is a Natchez resident.