Neighbors will have an immediate and direct adverse impact from densely “stacked houses” and overcrowding of the land. At least 250 houses proposed by the Arbor Sites and Elliott Homes developments must travel along Beach Drive, and up to 2000 apartments can be built on the 60 acres of the back nine holes of the golf course that is zoned R2. As yet, there is no road access to the back nine of the golf course. As many as six Arbor homes on the front nine will be adjacent to the back yard of ONE home in the adjacent neighborhoods. Both new developments violate city ordinances that require that new developments fit into the character of the existing neighborhoods and be commensurate in mass and form to adjacent homes, thus lowering property values and create overcrowding of the land and excessive density of the population.
Figure 1. Arbor’s Development: Same acreage as the 3 adjacent neighborhoods but twice as dense
Arbor’s site plan for developing the front nine holes of the former Great Southern Golf Course, exhibited on the site plan map above, shows the presence of 177 homes on the same number of acres as 91 houses in the three surrounding neighborhoods. Arbor has not yet submitted a site plan (map) for building on the back nine holes of the former golf course, zoned R2.
The City of Gulfport Ordinances Chapter 9, Article III established Sec. 9-47 to regulate subdivision development, and the intent of these ordinance is “to provide for the harmonious development of the city; for the coordination of streets within subdivisions with other existing or planned streets or with other features of the master plan; for adequate and convenient open spaces for traffic, utilities, recreation, light and air; and for a distribution of population and traffic that will tend to create conditions favorable to health, safety, convenience or prosperity.”
Elliott’s proposed subdivision of 81 homes on the William Carey property—originally submitted plan was for 102 houses--is twice as dense as the adjacent Southern Circle neighborhood. The William Carey property is zone R-1-7.5, meaning that minimum size of lots per house is 7,500 square feet; yet Elliott asked for variances for half of the homes to be built on 5000 square-foot lots which was denied by the Gulfport Zoning Board. The map below shows the adjacent Southern Circle subdivision with 48 lots on 22 acres. Directly below is the Elliott Proposal, which is twice as dense as the adjacent neighborhood and significantly overpopulates the land; therefore, the Elliott proposal does not fit into the character of the existing neighborhood and is too dense, in violation of the existing zoning, and will produce additional burdensome traffic on Beach Drive.
Figure 2. Elliott Subdivision versus Southern Circle Division
Trees, particularly protected live oaks, in this area of East Gulfport are so vital to our coastal community that the city of Gulfport established an ordinance that clearly states that large trees shall be preserved wherever possible. Some of the trees in our neighborhoods are registered in the Garden Clubs of Mississippi, including “Annie Oak,” over 600 years old. The tree ordinance mandates the preservation of large trees that need to be preserved to prevent the “Profit” of developers over “Preservation.” Developers have admitted that “some trees will be lost.” Protected trees increase property values. The presence of live oak trees on properties have an aesthetic value, contribute to our welfare and create a sense of well being.
If you have a single trunk trees of any variety whose circumferences are a minimum of 114 inches when measured four and a half feet above ground you are eligible for registration at the Société des Arbres. Beautiful 11 x 14-inch certificates bearing the gold seal of suitable for framing and signed by the founder of the Society and the registrar/historian, are issued to tree owners upon registration of the tree(s). Go to the link to submit your “application packet” and register your trees today.