At the January 5 Gulfport City Council meeting, council was in and out of the Catherine Hickman Theater in under an hour. Here are the highlights of what they discussed, but if you want to read more about these issues, subscribe to our weekly newsletter for links to more in-depth coverage online, or pick up the January 14 Gabber in print. We will also update this story with links to more in-depth coverage later this week. See the whole meeting agenda here.
Board of Adjustment Denied Variance; Council Says BOA Did What It Had to Do
Despite a Shakespearean-like series of misunderstandings between longtime Gulfport resident Pat Dunham and Gulfport’s Community Development Department, Council could not find legal ground to overturn the citizen-run Board of Adjustment’s denial of the resident’s application for a variance. Dunham’s house and garage perished in a fire in 2020, and Dunham applied for a variance to rebuild the garage as it stood before. The pre-fire garage didn’t conform to city code. The BOA denied the variance because they didn’t find enough of a hardship to allow a noncompliant building, and, at the January 5 Gulfport City Council meeting, council discussed whether the BOA acted appropriately.
Policing Across City Lines
Council agreed to renew its mutual aid agreement with other police departments, which essentially allows officers to carry out their sworn duties (interviewing suspects, for example) outside Gulfport city limits, but only as necessary.
No More Library Late Fees
The City of Gulfport will stop charging late fees for overdue library books, DVDs and other borrow-able materials as of October 1, 2021.