A quick look into the future, the kick-off community meeting held on Wednesday, March 22 was a success, with over 130 residents participating. This is your opportunity as a resident of Bay St. Louis to shape what our future as a city looks like!
- by Maurice Singleton
This Big Buzz is supported by our Partners:
Bay St. Louis residents had the opportunity to offer input into the vision of the city 22 years into the future. 135 citizens were on hand to hear the presentation by Orion Planning + Design and to offer ideas about “Bay St. Louis 2045,” the comprehensive planning process that will help guide the city as it goes forward through the next 22 years.
Representatives of Orion presented assessments of the interconnected systems that determine how the city functions. The six systems are community culture, development patterns, economy, environment, demographics, and mobility.
Some of the concerns that came out of the initial assessment were the lack of residential building space, affordable housing, lack of walkable attractions in some neighborhoods and the need for public parks, recreational areas, and neighborhood retail.
“Bay St. Louis is good for speaking out and speaking its mind,” said Bay St. Louis mayor Mike Favre about the number of citizens who participated in the session and the focus group prior to the general meeting.
“Where do we want Bay St. Louis to go? Where do we want to be? How do we want to move forward?” Favre asked rhetorically.
“We put it out for bid, and they just stuck out,” said Favre. “They helped Diamondhead. They are focused. And they have several local people from our area.
“This is going to tell us our weaknesses and strengths, where we did well and where we fell short. Whether it’s on beautification, whether it’s on Parks and Rec.”
Favre said that one of the perplexing things was the census numbers from 2010 to 2020, which show a growth of only 100 citizens: 9,200 to 9,300 citizens, considering that approximately 2,000 homes have been built in Bay St. Louis during the same time frame.
“On a weekend we go from under 10,000 to 15,000 (residents), and 20,000 with VRBOs,” said Favre.
Bay St. Louis 2045 is a five-step process: 1) discovery, 2) direction, 3) design, 4) implementation, and 5) follow-up. The first three steps are projected to take approximately a year and a half prior to implementation.
“You’ve got a place like no other on the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” said Bob Barber, founding partner of Orion. “The geography, the manner in which the town is developed. You are a unique, small, quaint town. You’ve got all the natural assets, but it’s supplemented by local culture that is just great.
“We were expecting 100 people at tonight’s meeting, and what did we have, 135? People just love their community, and rightly so,” said Barber. “Judging by the meetings and the input, residents are high energy and very interested in their community.”
Visit the website for additional details and to sign up for updates and notifications.
Enjoy this feature?
Comments are closed.