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Natchez aldermen approve Trinity school being rezoned for business
from Staff Reports - NEWS
July 11, 2018 - ListenUpYall.com

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – City aldermen on Tuesday agreed to reclassify the now-closed Trinity Episcopal School campus to help make the property easier to sale and be commercially developed.

The school, after nearly 50 years on U.S. 61 by the Woodhaven subdivision in Natchez, closed its doors in May. Trinity Episcopal Church, which owns the property, has put it up for sale.

The 14-acre tract had been zoned for many years just for residential redevelopment, but that impairs Trinity’s ability to sell it, said Father Ken Ritter, the church’s priest-in-charge.

“I don’t think anyone wants that property to just sit there and lay vacant,” Ritter told the Board of Aldermen.

With some nearby residents expressing concerns about businesses now being located by their homes, Trinity and the board did adopt concessions aimed at easing their worries. They include assurances that no apartment complexes, hotels, restaurants, bars, convenience stores or truck stops will be located there.

The property’s new commercial land classification also bans a car dealership from being located on the Trinity site, said city Planning and Zoning Director Rico Giani. A new Toyota dealership is located nearby south of the campus.

There is a list of various types of businesses that could now be permitted on the old school property. They include a neighborhood shopping center, medical office, drug store, funeral home and financial establishment. Any new business development would have to include a 20-foot landscaped buffer between the site and the Woodhaven residential area.

Trinity Church, which opened Trinity Episcopal Day School in 1950 originally near the church downtown, decided in 1969 to build the U.S. 61 campus. With its enrollment dwindled down to about 140 students, the school board decided in January to close the school in May.

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The Board of Aldermen is moving forward with acquiring video cameras to place in Natchez’ high-crime areas. Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong presented plans Tuesday for purchasing 32 cameras costing a total of $4,800. The Natchez Police Department will use the street security cameras to combat crime as fears have escalated in Natchez about recent shootings, robberies and other crimes.

Armstrong said the WiFi-connected cameras would cost $640 a month to operate for the NPD to monitor and have video stored for replaying. The Board of Aldermen in May approved allocating $10,000 for this.

The crime-surveillance system is similar to what’s used in New Orleans and Vicksburg, Armstrong said.




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