Reservoir Parking Issues
Pearl River Valley Water Supply District (PRV) officials are revisiting the issue concerning trailers, RVs and boats parked in yards throughout the reservoir district. “There’s going to be a meeting (on April 16), where we have a lot of people show up and make comments,” PRV General Manager John Sigman said.
Proposed policy changes include prohibited parking or storage of vehicles in front and side yards, sidewalks and on public streets or rights of way; no vehicle shall be parked or stored in any front yard or side yard within any residential area except within a garage, carport, apron or driveway; and driveways cannot cover more than 50 percent of the front yard and a driveway must be solid surfaced with brick, asphalt or concrete.
Residents can find the full list of proposals on the PRV and reservoir Facebook pages: Pearl River Valley Water Supply District and Ross Barnett Reservoir.
PRV officials have received multiple complaints from residents about neighbors parking boats, RVs and trailers in driveways and front yards in a “haphazard manner.”
“We’re trying to get some uniformity and develop a policy that most leaseholders will agree with. Some people feel that parking on the grass and three or four trailers in the driveway detracts from property values.”
Last October officials began noticing and receiving complaints about non-vehicular transportations parked in yards and on roadsides. Notices were sent out citing possible violations.
Several residents voiced objection to the notices. About 50 people came before the committee to express concerns.
“The committee voted to recommend that the PRV board not enforce the boating and trailer part of the regulation, allowing time for a select committee to review the problem further,” he said.
Currently, reservoir district leaseholders and residents are not allowed to park their boats or trailers in their driveways or front yards. However, not doing so is proving more difficult for some.
Sigman added that the regulation prohibiting parked cars on streets will not be modified, although that regulation is regularly ignored by residents as well.
New Opportunity Zone
A portion of Ridgeland has now been dedicated as a ‘qualified opportunity zone’ following the U.S. Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service’s designation of 100 Mississippi communities.
The designations are to spur economic growth throughout the state.
Ridgeland’s opportunity zone lies within the borders of County Line Road, Old Canton Road, Lake Harbour Drive and S. Wheatley Street.
“We’re really excited about it,” Mayor Gene McGee said. “Basically, it allows for some really important investment and tax credits in a particular area.”
According to the press release issued by the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA), an opportunity zone designation encourages “long-term investments in low-income and rural communities through qualified opportunity funds… The new community development program was established through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017… Tracts with a poverty rate of 20 percent or greater and/or family income of less than 80 percent of the area’s median income were eligible for consideration.”
McGee said the Ridgeland opportunity zone includes areas city officials have been trying and wanting to see developed or redeveloped.
The designated zone will remain in effect for 10 years.
“This is going to be really good for Ridgeland. We requested the application through the MDA about a month or so (ago).”
On Wednesday, April 11, Ridgeland city officials received the word that Ridgeland had been included in the 100 designated communities throughout the state.
“When we saw it was something that was going to be available… we immediately requested to be one of those zones. It includes Northpark Mall, which is already going to be redeveloped. Now they’ll be able to do more.”
McGee added that the Ridgeland opportunity zone includes areas that have been vacant for some time and where officials have been pushing for development.
“This should really change the game on that and give developers and landowners an opportunity to make major investments,” he said.
Through these opportunity zones, private investors will be able to earn tax relief, and tax benefits will increase the longer the investments are in place.
The mayor’s office was not sure when exactly the opportunity zone will go into effect at press time.