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Commission rejects proposal for Deer Island development

BILOXI — The Biloxi Planning Commission has rejected a proposed development on the west end of Deer Island.

The Sun Herald reports the commission recommended denial of a zoning change. The issue next goes to the Biloxi City Council for a decision.

Larry Mitrenga has proposed the Oasis at Deer Island. Mitrenga has described the resort with eight three-story buildings, a pavilion for special events and a tiki bar. It would be a condotels with a mix of 1,000-square-foot condominiums and hotel rooms.

The site is about a half-mile off the East Biloxi coastline. The north end of the property is waterfront.

Developers say the resort would have electrical service, city water and sewer, an onsite medical facility and a heliport for emergency transport.

Mitrenga’s attorney, Michael Cavanaugh, said the zoning change from agricultural to waterfront is merited because of the change in the character of the neighborhood. Since Hurricane Katrina, he said, most of the East Biloxi coastline has been rezoned to waterfront.

Edward Shambra, the city’s executive planner, said the neighborhood is not across the water on U.S. 90.

“The neighborhood is the island itself,” he said.

Shambra said the eight-acre site is about 1 percent of the total island amid hundreds of acres of undeveloped land owned by the state.

The resort was opposed by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and others.

Deer Island is one of the Mississippi barrier islands located in the Gulf of Mexico south of Biloxi.

The state owns all but 17 acres of the island.

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One comment

  1. The west end of Deer Island is a huge Indian village containing numerous Native American burials. Prior to any development about 15 Native American tribes would have to approve of the project. These burials and the village are protected by Federal Laws. It is doubtful if they would approve of any disturbance.
    Read Stowe, Archaeologist.

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