Bel Air gets overlay district



Daily Journal

TUPELO – An overlay district for the Bel Air neighborhood was unanimously approved by the Tupelo City Council on Tuesday.

“This is the third one we are doing,” said Mike Bryan, council president. “It’s similar to Joyner and Sharon Hills.”

The overlay districts were approved in the wake of damage caused by the April 28 tornado.

The districts are for areas where restrictive covenants have expired. They’re meant to keep developers from building houses incompatible with surrounding neighborhoods.

Joyner, Sharon Hills and Bel Air neighborhood associations approved the overlay districts. In each neighborhood, five-member committees of residents must approve site and floor plans, full elevation drawings and related exterior materials.

That approval must come before property owners can get building permits.

The overlay districts expire in three months unless the city council decides otherwise.

Declining and blighted neighborhoods have emerged as a top concern in Tupelo. In recent years, the city has funded a $2.9 million public-private partnership redevelopment project along the West Jackson Street area, bordering the Joyner and Gravelee neighborhoods.