Southaven Zoning Fight
(Southaven, MS) Sonny Balducci built his home in expensive St. Clair Park, investing lots of money, knowing the homes built near him had to be at least as nice as his, ”That was why we bought in this area, because of the requirements to be in the subdivision had to be a 4-thousand square foot or above house”.
But hard times took their toll and Bankcorp South ended up scooping up the remaining lots in the upscale subdivision.
Now, the bank wants to change the zoning to put smaller homes here, that it thinks will sell better.
Balducci says the bank didn’t put a lot of effort into selling lots here, and until recently didn’t even keep the grass cut.
The bank took its proposal to the Southaven Planning Commission, which turned it down, ”We’ve got plenty of places for 3-thousand, 2-thousand 18-hundred square foot houses, It’s just not in this neighborhood” said Whitney Choat-Cook, Southaven’s Planning Director.
But Tuesday night, the bank will appeal that decision to Southaven’s Board of Aldermen, who could over-rule the Commission.
Planners say a change would affect Southaven’s mix of affordable and expensive homes.
”It’s not that we don’t want them, it’s just that’s now where we designated them. Castle Ridge right next door to them has 3-thousand. This was a small, gated community of 4-thousand square foot minimum. It had its own little niche”.
But Balducci, a former banker himself, says it’s all about profit, ”That’s all they’re interested in, is selling lots. What we’re interested in, in keeping the valuation up out here to where it’s supposed to be”.
Balducci says what makes his fight important is, this could happen in any neighborhood no matter what the house size and income.