Members of a Ridgeland neighborhood advocacy group are reacting to the Mississippi Supreme Court's ruling on a rezoning case.
Concerned Ridgeland residents came together to form the Ridgeland Citizens for Responsible Development group after they said the City of Ridgeland acted illegally when rezoning the land where a Costco store was to be built along Highland Colony Parkway.
The group also shared concerns about traffic in the area, as well as their property values going down.
Attorneys representing the City of Ridgeland argued the rezoning was done correctly.
Thursday, the court ruled in favor of the group, stating the zoning amendments the City of Ridgeland made to accommodate the store were illegal and “entirely designed to suit Costco”.
Thatch Shepard, a member of the Ridgeland Citizens for Responsible Development Group said the group is happy the supreme court sided with their point of view.
“As an engineer, I hate to see construction projects stopped,” said Shepard. “So, I feel for the development team that’s out here but we just proved that some citizens can rally around a perceived, and in this case an actual wrong that was being done by the City of Ridgeland. There will be opportunities for them to make it right but certainly, right now, we think that we did the right thing in pushing back to the city and challenging our leadership.”
Shepard shared concerns other members brought up about the store being built but said his personal concern was about safety near the roundabout.
“It’s already a challenge in some cases to get around that thing at certain times of day and then recognizing that this new development could bring more challenges to that,” added Shepard. “I can remember some mornings when we were driving around trying to negotiate the roundabout here and realizing If you have a 15-year-old driving around a roundabout when people are merging left, right, front, and back and you’re like wow, this can only get amplified by a development here.”
We spoke to Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee about the ruling and he said he was disappointed but accepts it.
He also told us about the possibility of another commercial structure being built instead of Costco, or Costco still being built but without a gas station.
However, he said that decision would be left up to leaders at Costco.
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