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City to fight annexation ruling

D’IBERVILLE — City of D’Iberville officials will appeal an annexation ruling that gave it mostly housing communities and a school while Biloxi got some prime commercial land along new Mississippi 67.

On Tuesday, the D’Iberville mayor and council voted unanimously to appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Attorney W. Fred Hornsby III, who represents D’Iberville, tells The Sun Herald that the city wants the entire area it originally sought to annex including what was awarded to Biloxi in the May 21 decision by Rankin County Chancery Judge Thomas Zebert.

Zebert gave the two cities about the same size parcels — 2.5 square miles of land — and left the remaining 6.2 acres both cities requested within Harrison County.

The key pieces of the annexation puzzle are the commercial area along Mississippi 67 and the 1,200-acre Pinehaven development, which spans both sides of the highway.

Biloxi officials said a developer plans to build a hospital and long-term-care center and later add homes, hotels, restaurants and a vendor marketplace.

Because 160 acres of Pinehaven were within Biloxi’s city limits and none inside D’Iberville, Zebert ruled the developer should have to deal with only one city’s regulators; in this case, Biloxi.

Hornsby said Pinehaven is still vacant land and Hornsby said D’Iberville should have been awarded all of Mississippi 67 because the city provides some water and sewer in that area.

Mayor A.J. Holloway said Biloxi is evaluating all of its options.

“The court also seemed to go to great lengths to thoroughly explain the legality and soundness of its rulings in Biloxi’s favor,” he said.

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