by Calvin Ishee

As directed by the Mayor and Board of Alderman at their January 7, 2020 meeting, City Planner Danit Simon devised and presented a new RV Ordinance at the January 28th Pass Christian Planning Commission meeting. This stand alone ordinance is designed to specifically make it much tougher for new RV Parks to operate in the city. Although the Pass currently has only one RV Park in operation and one recently approved by the BOA, both the Mayor and Board made it clear that they didn’t want another RV Park in the City.

The PC Planning Commission voted unanimously to place new restrictions on future RV Parks in an effort to discourage others from pursuing this type of business within the City limits. Simon outlined the new guidelines that limits RV parks to Mixed-Use Commercial Special District; sets limits on the number of RV parking spots allowed; requires 10 feet between each RV parking space; and requires a Site Plan, Landscaping Plan as well as an engineered stamped utility plan with the Utility Permit Application.

In other business, in an effort to streamline City Boards and Commissions, the Planning Commission is recommending the elimination of the Zoning Board of Adjustments (ZBA).  Simon stated that the “ZBA only reviews applications for Setback Variances and the City receives very few applications that are strictly related to setbacks. It will increase efficiency to have only one body review all applications related to planning, zoning, etc”.

Simon further added that there’s “not a need for two separate boards doing the same thing”. Historically the ZBA only met several times per year and is comprised of five residents.

The recently deceased Eugene Russell has been the long serving Chair of the ZBA and several Planning Commission Commissioners praised Russell for his outstanding service to the City.

In Other/Public Comments, Commissioner Margaret Jean Kalif expressed her deep concern regarding the unsightly and unacceptable condition of a local towing service. Other commissioners also stated their concerns regarding the possibility that the towing service was operating in a non-conforming and illegal status. Simon stated that it was on the “Mayor’s list” and that the City was working with the towing service to resolve these and others. Kalif further stated that there’s “no excuse for operating outside of it’s approved business”.  She further asked Simon to pass her concerns on to the Mayor.

Both of these items will be formally sent to the Board of Alderman for their review, approval or disapproval.