Residents around Great Southern Golf Club concerned about new development plans

Date: 2021-10-28 05:23:53

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) – The unimpeded backyard view of the Great Southern Golf Club is about to change, and the clubs will be silenced.

The state’s oldest golf course had to be sold because it couldn’t sustain itself, and Southern Circle resident and architect Johnny Olsen has come to accept the inevitable.

“I think everybody probably should come to understand that what we’ve learned, what we’ve lived with all of these years with the golf course being here, those days are gone,” he said.

On Monday, the developer, Arbor Properties, presented plans to build single-family homes with an estimated price range of $350,000 to slightly above $1 million.

Among the concerns include potential drainage issues.

Gordon Thames, president of Arbor Properties, said drainage plans include flood control for the surrounding neighborhoods.

“We will be taking some of their water, which we’re not obligated to do, and absorbing into the retention bond and drainage system we will have in our development,” Thames said.

However, the biggest objection is the developer’s plan to use this gravel road as emergency access to and from Southern Circle.

“Unless that is a controlled egress only for emergency, we don’t want that,” Olsen said. “We don’t want that additional traffic.”

Thames said emergency access is necessary as part of modern codes to provide alternate access to either neighborhood should the main entrance be blocked.

Olsen said he wants whatever is developed to protect property values and character.

Thames said it will.

“They’re going to have a very nice single-family neighborhood that will restore a lot of vibrancy down to that part of the Coast and it will enhance property values,” he said.

The front nine part of the golf course is scheduled to close April 30, 2022, and the golf course north of the tracks has been given a lease until June 2023.

The next public meeting regarding the development will be for the permitting process with the Gulfport Planning Commission, but there is no firm date set for that meeting.

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