City adds permit layer for large developments

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 5, 2002

[11/05/02]Future large developments in Vicksburg such as the Home Depot-centered complex off South Frontage Road will have to obtain permits before beginning site work.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted Monday to adopt a land disturbance ordinance that will require contractors to get permission before starting to clear an acre or more. Today, city permits are needed only before the start of construction. The change is effective in about 30 days.

“The city needs to know who is doing major construction that could impact other properties,” said Mayor Laurence Leyens.

Citing land leveling that has threatened a road adjacent to the Home Depot site, officials said the city inspectors will now preview plans with an eye on drainage. Victor Gray-Lewis, building inspector administrator, said the new policy will help prevent problems on adjacent properties.

“Now, they can’t just go out and start excavating until they come up with a plan of what they’re going to do there,” Gray-Lewis said.

He said the city ordinance mirrors a Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality policy that requires a state permit for work on sites of five or more acres.

Permits to begin clearing land will be a minimum of $50 or $25 per acre. Fees for building permits, which will still be required before construction begins, are based on the cost of the development.

In other matters, the city board:

Accepted $180,142 from Entergy. The franchise fee is based on 2 percent of the company’s sales inside the municipal limits.

Approved a request from Bill Harris to grant a variance to the city’s subdivision regulation for a subdivision off Indiana Avenue.

Approved a $360 ad for local radio station WQBC for holiday advertising.

Authorized the purchase of a new camera and a video switcher for TV 23. The equipment cost $17,101.

Allocated $17,003 to the Vicksburg Airport Authority for Vicksburg Tallulah Regional Airport.