Monday, November 16, 2015

Open Letter re Proposed Restaurant

The Shoreline Development Committee meets in less than half an hour to discuss, among other things, the proposed restaurant off Spillway Road near Highway 471. See my earlier post here concerning the PRVWSD's call for comments.

For more posts about this restaurant, see here, here, here (including renderings of the proposed restaurant) and here.  The Change.org petition is now up to 187 electronic signatures.

Below the break is an open letter submitted by a reader:

To whom it may concern, As a resident on Pearl River Valley lands, I'm opposed to the development of the track of land on the north side of Spillway Rd within a mile of Hwy 471.  The current proposal is for a seafood restaurant to be developed on the "highest" elevation of a 4 acre plot nearly in the middle of a continuous natural habitat.  I am against this current proposal for commercial development as well as any other proposal (commercial or residential) within this location. This location is surrounded on three sides by waterways and wetlands. The natural ecosystems within this track of land have been slowly developing in this location for at least 50 years (since the reservoir reached it's average water level capacity). I'm not only concerned with the immediate destruction of the 4 acre habitat, but also about the impact that the runoff will have on the surrounding area.  The fact that the green space on the eastern half of Pelahatchie bay is largely undeveloped, is what makes it beautiful and desirable. It's one of the main reasons I chose to buy a house on Eagles Pt.  It's this seclusion and beauty that the developers and investors are trying to capitalize on with this location. I applaud them for trying this unique approach with their business plan. However, my concern is that future investors and entrepreneurs will not share a vision of "seclusion" as a good business plan for a hospitality establishment. This is an important factor because approximately 25% of restaurants fail in the first year, and 60% fail within the first 3 years (Source: Dr. H. G. Parsa of Ohio State University). I hope those individuals with the voting power over the development of this land do not trade what is likely to be a few years of revenues for what mother nature has been working on for many decades.  I would be in favor of any plans that would allow greater access for community members (and visitors) to experience the natural beauty of this green space. An example of this might be a raised boardwalk trail with access to the sunset vistas over the grasses and lily pads. It would be this kind of land use within green spaces that would raise property values, reduce vacant residential properties, and keep this area desirable for families and businesses.  I would classify my personal beliefs as pro-business. As such, I would suggest an alternative development location for a seafood restaurant at the boat ramp located on the eastern end of the dam (across from the old Rapids water park). This location is in Rankin County, on Pearl River land, on Spillway Rd, has established boat access, provides some great summertime sunset views, would utilize and underutilized parking lot, and has a much higher traffic pattern which would attract future investors should the current developer's plan fail. Thanks for your consideration,-David Blake10 Eagles Pt.Brandon, MS 39047

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