MAYOR AND BOARD OF ALDERMEN
CITY OF OCEAN SPRINGS
SPECIAL CALL MEETING NOVEMBER 29, 2011
Be it remembered that the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Ocean Springs met in a Special Call meeting at the Ocean Springs City Hall in the City of Ocean Springs at 5:00 p.m. on November 29, 2011. Mayor Moran presiding, Aldermen Ross, Gill, McDonnell, Cody, Denyer and Dalgo were present. Also present was City Clerk Shelly Ferguson and City Attorney John Edwards. Alderman Hagan was absent.
The Mayor called the meeting to order.
The Special Call Meeting is for the purpose of any and all matters pertaining to an Executive Session regarding potential litigation of an appealable decision.
Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Ross and unanimously carried to go into closed session to determine the necessity of going into executive session.
The City Clerk returned to the meeting and announced a motion was made by Alderman Cody, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to remain in executive session regarding potential litigation of an appealable decision.
Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Ross and unanimously carried to return to regular session.
Alderman Gill made the following statement:
When we look at what is located in the C-3 area off of 90 and Washington that is not located on or within a parking lot or has a service drive to access to major thoroughfare, we find a Single proprietor Law Office, Single Proprietor Psychologist office, Baptist Parsonage, and Single Family Residential. According to the definitions submitted and the description of the activities: A Partial Hospitalization program does not operate like a traditional office or clinic with a few patients scheduled during any giving hour – Coming and going throughout the day in relatively small numbers of cars. This program operates like a small factory working shifts or a school where there are mass comings and goings at specified times throughout the day – 5 days per week. These programs seek to have 8-10 clients in capacity coming and going at any given time. There will be a Morning Arrival, Lunch Break, Return from Lunch, Afternoon Departure, Evening Arrival and finally Evening Departure. At least 6 coordinated rush hours – 5 days a week. I have not included the doctors, specialists, assistants, administrative help, service people, and suppliers, but it adds up. This use will also have night time operations. This does not sound like the traditional operation of an office or clinic and it is certainly not similar to the single proprietor offices in the area that are low volume traffic generators.
Although located in C-3, this site is not on a major road or highway. It is in the Marble Springs Historic District. It is directly adjacent to an R-1 residential district and shares its entrance and exit road with the residences. This is wholly different than the Singing River facility near the hospital. It does not put traffic through the Fort Bayou residential subdivision. This residential area has been in existence for over 100 years. Due to its age, the streets are not wide and our ROW in the area is substandard compared to our own Subdivision Regulations. Iberville has 30 foot ROW – the actual pavement varies in width from 19-20 feet, Ames Ave has 27 foot ROW – actual pavement is 17 feet wide. These are not appropriate for highway commercial activities with mass inflow and outflow. Look at our highway commercial roads – Washington, Hwy 90, and Government – All have over 50 feet of ROW. Even the Mental Health facility on Jackson Ave that is in R-1, that includes family counseling, is on a street with 60 feet of ROW. Our subdivision regs call for major streets and arterial streets to have 100 feet of ROW – and a pavement width of 63 feet. Secondary streets and collector streets are to have 60 feet of ROW and pavement width of 27. Minor streets, 50 ROW pavement 27 and an alleyway to serve business – ROW 25 , pavement 17. These roads are basically in the category of alleyways. If any on-street parking occurs, Ames is reduced to 8’6” and Iberville 11 feet.
We already allow mental health services in the neighborhood – so for the purposes of these findings and my motion, this has nothing to do with whether or not the use is for treating the mentally ill. It has everything to do with the Zoning not providing for a Psychiatric Partial Hospitalization and further it increases volume, congestion, and further that Partial Hospitalization is different than all the other operating businesses located off 90 and 609, which are low volume office uses. The use would funnel that rush hour commercial traffic to Iberville eastbound or the emergency under pass at Fort Bayou Bridge and adds nighttime commercial activity due to the intended hours of service.
This all must be considered in relation to the unique and historic nature of this section of C-3. This section of C-3 is unlike any other C-3 area in the City. I would be having the exact same reservations if we were discussing a drive-in movie theater, a car dealership, a Taco Bell or a bus depot looking to locate in the area, a block off the major thorough fares, on streets the size of alleys, with unfavorable entrance and exits to what is considered the busiest intersection on the Coast next to 90 and 49 in Gulfport. Commercial traffic should not be using Iberville drive east as a through street to get to the light at Vermont/MLK.
It is our job to use good judgment in protecting the public welfare. Traffic congestion results in a number of problems, including economic costs due to delayed travel times, air pollution and accidents. Any on-street parking will make it difficult for emergency vehicles. As one roadway becomes congested, drivers may use others not necessarily intended for through traffic. Iberville, with its speed bumps, does not need to be the through way for a facility serving Ocean Springs, as 90% of the City is east of this location. For those reasons stated, as well as those stated in the October 24th Memorandum Brief of attorney John Paul Barber, specifically sections 1, 2, 4, and 5, but specifically not adopting any arguments regarding violent crime therein, Motion was made by Alderman Gill and seconded by Alderman Cody to deny the use permit as applied for by Psycamore, LLC with the added lagniappe that the Planning Department and the Board do everything in its power to aid Psycamore in finding a suitable location for a partial hospitalization program. Motion carried with Aldermen Ross, Gill, McDonnell, Cody, and Denyer voting aye and Alderman Dalgo voting nay.
Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Cody and unanimously carried to adjourn the Special Call meeting.
Meeting ended at 6:55 p.m.
City Clerk Mayor