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Judge dismisses family's lawsuit over marina construction

BAY ST. LOUIS — A judge has dismissed a Bay St. Louis family’s lawsuit it filed against the city and the state over the future use of their property as a marina.

Kenneth F. Murphy, Ray J. Murphy and Audie R. Murphy, who own the beachfront site where the popular Dan B.’s tavern and restaurant stood before Hurricane Katrina and an adjacent lot, filed the lawsuit last summer in Hancock County Chancery Court.

“We’ve given up trying to stop ’em,” Ken Murphy told the Sea Coast Echo. “We’re just going to make ’em pay us for what they did.”

Chancery Judge Jim Persons dismissed the lawsuit on Feb. 24.

Persons said the city’s beachfront access across the Murphys’ property is “approved an authorized … for the duration” of the beachfront access project and/or the harbor project.

Persons said “in the event the plaintiffs obtain a building permit for construction on their properties before the completion of the projects, then the city will abandon the easements” within 10 days.

The Murphys had sought the immediate return and restoration of their beach front property, which was formerly the site of Dan B.’s restaurant and bar.

Contractors began work on the first phase of the marina project on Jan. 3, surveying and marking off the location of the vehicular ramp from Beach Boulevard to the proposed marina.

The Murphys had asked the court to find that their property is in compliance with the 1994 Final Tideland Boundary Map, lying between the retaining wall and the mean high water line, and is therefore not subject to Tidelands use.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann had said that the back portion of the Murphys’ land is properly identified as Tidelands property. He said the Murphys were paid for a portion of the front of the property when the Mississippi Department of Transportation widened Beach Boulevard after Hurricane Katrina.

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