January 26, 2021
It is my pleasure to report on the first planning and zoning meeting for 2021, and it is comes with great eagerness to put 2020 in our rear view mirror.
For those who are regular attendees of the monthly meetings, you may have noticed we started the meeting a bit different this time. Upon the agreement of the commissioners we started the meeting with an invocation and Pledge of Allegiance. This has been a custom in our city council meetings, and it seemed only fitting to start the first meeting of the new year in that manner.
The first item on the agenda was to appoint the Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission. I am thrilled to recognize our new Chairman, Ms. Amy Doescher.
Commissioner Doescher has been an integral part of the Planning and Zoning Commission for the past three years, and the level of expertise she brings to us as an architect is a great benefit, not only to the Commission, but to Bay Saint Louis. I want to congratulate Chairman Doescher in leading and executing a seamless meeting in her new role. I am also honored that my fellow commissioners allow me to serve as Co-Chairman of the Commission.
Boxx- Application for variance to the Zoning Ordinance. The applicant intends to build a pergola to park vehicles, therefore will need a 19’ variance to the front yard setback resulting in a 6’ setback. There were no individuals in attendance that spoke in favor or opposition to the applicant’s intention.
When reviewing this proposal, I noticed there were no immediate neighbors that would be impacted by this request nor were there any concerns based on its proximity to the front yard to obscure or hinder any vision concerns from the nearby street. The application was passed unanimously, 7-0, and City Council will have the final determination at the next meeting.
James Development- Application for Variance to the Zoning Ordinance. Applicant intends to build a two-story restaurant, therefore requesting a 22’ variance to the front yard setback fronting on Court St resulting in a 3’ setback to the required 25’ front yard setback. The property is located at 200 S. Beach Blvd and is zoned as C-1, Central Business District.
The architect, Ms. Leah Watters, was present to discuss the application. It is worth mentioning this application was already presented and passed through the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). Ms. Watters indicated HPC made some recommendations for the aesthetics of the structure that would be more consistent with the architecture of the area. Both renditions were very aesthetically appealing.
The proposed rendition features two outdoor dining areas with an outdoor balcony overlooking the beautiful Bay of St. Louis. Not only is it important to highlight the beautiful view surrounding this area but, considering the importance of outdoor dining is a very functional aspect. Regarding the variance needed, Ms. Watters indicated the actual building is closer to 9’ from the setback, however; the structural overhang is what necessitates the 3’ setback to the requirement. When asked if this establishment could be achieved without a variance, Ms. Watters indicated that due to the small square footage, it would be nearly impossible to construct a functional building within the required zoning parameters.
There were no individuals in attendance that spoke in favor of, or in opposition to, the applicant’s intention. The application was passed unanimously, 7-0, and City Council will have the final determination at the next meeting.
James Development-Site Plan Review- a public hearing for a commercial structure which will be used for a restaurant. Commissioner Doescher opened the platform for public comment but there were no individuals in attendance that spoke in favor or opposition to the applicant’s intention. The application was approved by the Planning and Zoning commission with a unanimous vote of 7-0.
I want to briefly describe the purpose of a site plan review. The general appearance, style, and design of developments are of prime importance to the city of Bay St. Louis and its citizens. The appearance of Bay St. Louis reflects the high quality of life and high standards which the citizens have set for themselves.
This development is considered a minor site plan review as it does not exceed 5,000 square feet in area, or a site which is larger than two (2) acres in area, therefore City Council approval is not needed. Of note is that all site plans submitted shall meet the following standards by city officials before they are approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission:
- Compliance with all area, yard and height requirements
- Compliance with design for landscaping and buffer requirements
- Compliance with off-street parking and loading requirements
- Adequate traffic circulation and control patterns
- Curb and gutter required
- Adequate drainage facilities and water and sewer plan
- Approval of the Floodplain Manager
- Building design plans
Joel Dorris- Site Plan Review- A public hearing for a recreational vehicle park. The property is located at 3292 Washington Street. A special use district was granted for this location to allow the use of a Recreational Vehicle Park. Mr. Joel Dorris was present to discuss his intention of the application. Commissioner Doescher opened the platform for public comment but there were no individuals in attendance that spoke in favor or opposition to the applicant’s intention.
The actual site area is 6.6 acres with a 5.13-acre green space area. The applicant’s intention is to place 20 proposed parking areas with most being 30’x50’ with a proposed two-story building with a porch. Mr. Dorris outlined saving the protected trees on the property while maintaining green space throughout the area with concrete and gravel combination. Due to the size of the area exceeding (2) acres this proposal is considered a major site plan review which requires the final decision from City Council.
Many of the same provisions outlined above in the minor site plan review are applicable, and the full requirements for site plan review can be located in Article XI, Section 1101-Site Plan Review in the Adopted Bay Saint Louis Zoning Ordinances. The application was approved by the Planning and Zoning commission with a unanimous vote and will be presented for final decision by the City Council.
L & H Holdings, LLC- This application was withdrawn from the agenda by the applicant.
The City of Bay St. Louis is requesting a text amendment to Article III, Interpretations and Definitions of Terms in the chart of use for all zoning districts, boat and recreational vehicle storage. The Chart of Uses for all zoning districts: boat and recreational vehicle may be permitted upon approval by the City Council after recommendation from the Planning Commission. This use may be allowed by Special Exception.
The proposed amendment does not involve changing the classification of land. The Zoning Administrator recommended this use be allowed under the Chart of Uses by “Special Exception” in the C-3 Highway Commercial District. The reasons for this recommendation by “Special Exception” are that units may contain flammable materials, therefore the abutting area should be taken into consideration.
Thank you for the opportunity and please feel free to reach out at any time with feedback, questions, and/or concerns.
Co-Chairman, Planning and Zoning Commission