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August 23, 2006
Katrina Plus One
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April 26, 2006

Six Months of Progress

January 16, 2006

Affordable Houses Address Gulf Needs

January 11, 2006

Katrina Cottage Unveiled

December 19, 2005
An Abundance of Follow-Up
Moss Point Mini-Charrette

December 3, 2005
CNU Teams Return

November 17, 2005
Final Team Reports Are Released

October 18, 2005
Journal: A Tremendous Start

October 17, 2005
Journal: Time's Up
Team Presentations

October 16, 2005
Journal: Community Input
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October 15, 2005
Journal: Plans Emerge

October 14, 2005
Journal: Focus on Design
Draft Community Plans

October 13, 2005
Journal: Teams Visit Communities
Draft Goals and Objectives

October 12, 2005
Journal: Renewal Forum Begins

Governor Enlists CNU

GIS Database

Katrina Plus One: At the one-year mark, groundwork is set for widespread renewal.
By Jason Miller, Ben Brown and Sandy Sorlien

August 23, 2006 -- A year after the storm that changed landscapes and lives in Mississippi, progress is measurable, despite the enormity of the recovery and rebuilding challenge (see the Mississippi Beyond Katrina website for a statistical overview).

For those who participated in the historic Mississippi Renewal Forum in October of 2005, it's gratifying to see communities focused on implementing proposals that emerged from that packed week of listening, discussing, and designing. As you'll see in reports below, at least eight of the 11 communities targeted in Forum planning are at some stage of considering customized SmartCodes. These codes are crucial steps, since they'll guide patterns of development in the future and must be in place before the ambitious plans can become reality. The process may seem agonizingly slow. But the fact is, no region in America has been so actively engaged in discussions about appropriate zoning.

Even more inspiring has been the explosion of interest in Katrina Cottages, an idea born in the October Forum. The Katrina Cottage effort is producing an expanding family of designs for appealing, storm-worthy houses that compromise nothing but square footage in the effort to create homes worthy of long-term roles in neighborhood redevelopment. The first designs for Katrina Cottages came out of efforts to create design alternatives for FEMA trailers. The plans immediately captured the imaginations of citizens and building industry leaders (see www.katrinacottages.com). Now Katrina Cottages are claiming a broadening niche in the private-sector housing market and creating more alternatives for Mississippi home shoppers.

Lowe's has just announced plans to offer four Katrina Cottage designs as kits to property owners in the storm zone. Home Front, in Florida, is offering a growing list of models as panelized cottages. And the New Urban Guild has certified several manufactured housing companies to produce Katrina Cottages likely to set new standards for manufactured housing.

In Ocean Springs on Aug. 29, Gov. Haley Barbour is expected to help celebrate the launch of a new model village of Katrina Cottages in Ocean Springs, MS. The Ocean Springs Cottage Square, designed and developed by veterans of last year's Forum, will display at build-out 23 different Katrina Cottage models, including the Lowe's designs and Marianne Cusato's original prototype of the "little yellow house" that created such a stir at the 2006 International Builders Show.

See the companion article The Katrina Cottage Story for more details and photos.

There's every indication, as well, that the born-in-Mississippi Katrina Cottage movement is spreading nationally. In the Washington, D.C. area in October, USA Weekend magazine, in partnership with the Congress for the New Urbanism and local affordable housing advocates, will give away a Katrina Cottage designed by Steve Mouzon especially for the event. And many of the Katrina Cottage designers are fielding inquiries from developers and housing agencies from California to New England and from international projects in Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean.

In Mississippi, meanwhile, the long-term impacts of last year's post-storm planning efforts are making themselves felt all along the Coast. On the one-year-anniversary of Katrina, here's a rundown of progress in communities targeted in last year's Forum.

SmartCode Overview
Eight of the eleven Gulf Coast cities are actively pursuing SmartCode adoption to enable the plans from the Mississippi Renewal Forum and subsequent individual customization charrettes.  A ninth, Bay St. Louis, is currently seeking funding for a charrette that the people want.

Customized SmartCode drafts have been delivered to all eight of the cities: Waveland, Pass Christian, Gulfport, D'Iberville, Ocean Springs, Gautier, Moss Point, and Pascagoula. Full SmartCode planning charrettes were held in 2005-2006 in all of those cities except Gautier. To date in Gautier, five SmartCode informational meetings have been held.


Sandy Sorlien

Ann Daigle

A follow-up charrette was held in Waveland in June 2006, with the purpose of calibrating the SmartCode to local conditions and producing design examples that reflected SmartCode principles. The latter effort -- designing actual examples brought to the charrette team by the community -- turned out to be the most beneficial accomplishment of the charrette. Because people could see the SmartCode in action with their own actual projects, that visualization immediately clarified for them the benefits of Smart Growth better than a hundred lectures and books ever could. The charrette team’s experience combined with engaged citizens’ participation gave the City of Waveland the vision, the practical steps, and palpable and infectious enthusiasm for moving forward.

The draft Waveland Charrette Book is now available online. A final SmartCode draft and report is scheduled to be delivered by September 2006.

Waveland residents at the June SmartCode planning charrette show the charrette team members where they would like to see neighborhood centers, parks, and sidewalks. Photo by Sandy Sorlien.


Allison H. Anderson, AIA
Unabridged Architecture
208 Citizen Street
Bay St. Louis, MS 39520
228.216.1149 (mobile)

John Anderson, AIA
New Orleans, LA
228.216.1150 (mobile)

Kathy Pinn, donations coordinator
City of Waveland
228.467.3425 (office)
228.332.2270 (mobile)

Tommy Longo, mayor
City of Waveland

Steve Hand, zoning commissioner

Catherine Johnson, architect and town planner

Bay St. Louis
The Affordable Housing Committee of Hancock County’s Governor’s Commission recommended adopting the SmartCode at city centers and areas of new growth in the county. Members of Bay St. Louis City Council have had preliminary discussion about applying a calibrated SmartCode to the historic downtown area and/or the Depot area. 

Planning and urban design consultant Ann Daigle made a presentation on the SmartCode to the Land Use Committee of the Hancock County Governor’s Commission, which is still apprehensive about the purpose and benefits of SmartCode.

In the meantime, Bay St. Louis and the County continue on a joint Comprehensive Plan Update. The County is committed to restoring the County Courthouse in the Old Town and City Hall is moving out to the corner of 90 and Main Street, which might help to create a “front door” to Bay St. Louis.

During the weekend of August 26-27, the new Community Hall -- funded by the Rotary Club of Jonesboro, Ark. -- will be presented. There are several individual initiatives around the Depot District (new mixed-use) and Habitat has built 10 houses in Bay St. Louis, with more to come.

On the planning front, Bill Dennis of B. Dennis Town and Building Design in Providence, R.I., continues to secure funding for a charrette, possibly in September 2006, with Block Grants through the Mississippi Development Authority. The charrette would concentrate on the Old Town and Highway 90, along with the SmartCode.


Linda Weil
650.678.0419 (mobile)

Ellis Anderson, head of Coastal Community Watch
Blog: www.katrinapatina.blogspot.com
228.467.6202 (office)
228.467.6202 (home)
228.493.2107 (mobile)

Eddie Favre, mayor

Yuki Northington, interior designer, Community Hall Committee
228.466.5853 (office)
228.467.9464 (office)
228.671.9948 (mobile)

Tish Williams, executive director
Hancock County Chamber of Commerce
412 Highway 90, Suite 6
Bay St. Louis, MS  39520
228.467.1573 (fax)

Pass Christian
The Renewal Forum design team, led by Fisher & Hall Urban Design, was brought back to Pass Christian for a SmartCode charrette in February.  The charrette was widely attended and a strong shared vision was developed.  The draft SmartCode was completed in the middle of March, and the updated Draft Comprehensive Plan was completed in June.  The Planning Commission has been reviewing both documents in workshops and public hearings and is scheduled to send them to the mayor and Board of Aldermen in October.  Wal-Mart is continuing to work on the mixed-use Wal-Mart Village charrette plan.  As a result of new urbanist design efforts in the Pass, Wal-Mart is now actively looking for other new urbanist projects in which to locate as well.  The Pass Christian community continues to rally around the rebuilding vision that it helped to create at the Mississippi Renewal Forum last year and at the SmartCode charrette this year.


Chipper McDermott, mayor

Joe Piernas, alderman

Anthony Hall, alderman

Huey Bang, alderman

Dayton Robinson, Planning Commission chair

Jim Schmitt, resident
228.452.9585 (office)
228.332.2404 (mobile)

Martha Murphy, resident

Long Beach

Washington, D.C.-based Ayers / Saint / Gross Architects and Planners is working on completing the final master plan, which will include a Transect-based code. The citizen groups have made several recommendations for the Transect zones, which are being incorporated into the master plan. The final booklet will be finished before August 28, 2006.


Joe DiFazio, Ward 1 planning commissioner

A SmartCode draft has been delivered to the City of Gulfport; local planner Jeff Bounds is customizing it further. The new draft should be finished by August 25, 2006, in hopes that the City Council will adopt it by the end of September 2006.


Jeffrey Bounds, planner
617.230.6832 (mobile)

A draft form of an initial plan for rebuilding Biloxi, developed by the Biloxi Reviving the Renaissance steering committee after receiving the Governor’s Commission report, has been completed and is available for viewing at www.bilox.ms.us. An action plan for east Biloxi, developed by Living Cities with major funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, has been completed and is available for viewing at www.livingcities.org.


Reed Guice
228.860.7081 (mobile)

With financial assistance from the Governor's Commission and matching funds from the City of D'Iberville, two charrettes were held between June 10 and 16, 2006, with the participation of the public, the development community, the City staff, the State of Mississippi and the local media. The first charrette addressed a SmartCode calibrated for the downtown section of the master plan; the second charrette focused on producing a Smart Code for the implementation of such plan.

Discussions have now shifted from planning to implementation of specific projects. In effect, the realization of the SmartCode has already begun. According to charrette team leader Jaime Correa of Miami-based Correa and Associates, “The greatest lesson to be learned from this experience has come from the indisputable leadership displayed by Mayor Rusty Quave and City Manager Richard Rose to gain the necessary support for the implementation of new regulating plans, urban standards, thoroughfare specifications, architectural guidelines, and landscape regulations."

“The truthful and uncompromised implementation of this plan," said Correa, "shall allow the City of D'Iberville to reconstitute not only what was taken by Hurricane Katrina, but the 'institutional memory' of its citizenry, and the hope for a better and most productive future.”

Charrette team leader Jaime Correa gives the final presentation
in D'Ibervile City Hall, during the planning charrette in June.
Photo by Sandy Sorlien.


Richard Rose, city manager
City of D’Iberville
228.392.9723 (fax)

Jeff Taylor, city liaison
City of D’Iberville
228.392.9723 (fax)

Rusty Quave, mayor
City of D’Iberville
228.392.9723 (fax)

Jeff Taylor

David Hardy
Guild Hardy Architects

Ocean Springs
Ocean Springs lost 177 homes and had over 1400 homes with damage from Katrina.  However, major infrastructure was left intact: fire stations, police stations, schools, grocery stores, downtown businesses, recreational facilities, and more.

“Ocean Springs is working hard to recover,” says Alderman-at-Large Julia Weaver. “Our city services, schools, restaurants, etc., are at 100 percent. However, many residents are still struggling from the impact of the storm.  There are two FEMA trailer sites, and dozens -- perhaps hundreds -- of FEMA trailers on individual homesites.  People are waiting to settle with insurance, or receive grants or other government support.

“Ocean Springs was one of the first cities to adopt the new advised flood elevations.  We are home to the Katrina Cottage Square.  We are working to rebuild with the input of the Governor’s Commission on Renewal.  We are also trying to build a new public safety complex that will house a new, safer Emergency Operations Center so that we can be better prepared for future storms.

“We are trying to live up to Governor Barbour’s statement, ‘If we rebuild what we had before, we will have failed.’  We are trying to rebuild a town that is more storm resistant, more beautiful, more prosperous.”

In addition to the launch of Cottage Square with Gov. Barbour mentioned above, Katrina anniversary events for August 29, 2006 include a groundbreaking ceremony for Fort Maurepas Park, which was redesigned during the Mississippi Renewal Forum.


Connie Moran, mayor 
228.875.6722 (office)

Julia Weaver, alderman-at-large
228.219.2279 (mobile)


A locally customized SmartCode has been provided to the town’s city manager and city council. These officials are reviewing the SmartCode and seeking additional input on the Code from other Gautier officials.

Jeff Wilkinson, a City of Gautier planning official and councilmember, reports that “of the 3,000+ homes that flooded, many are repaired to a livable condition. The roughly 200 homes that were totally destroyed are going a lot slower, with people waiting on SBA loans or the Homeowner Grants, before they can start. Building contractors are hard to come by so we all learn to wait. We hope to get a SmartCode passed as an overlay in the near future, but this too is going slower than we had hoped.”


Jeff Wilkinson, at-large councilman
228.497.2118 (home)
228.217.8687 (mobile)

Christy Wheeler, city manager

After the charrette process, Pascagoula formed a “Renaissance Commission” to address rebuilding choices. The commission completed its first report in April and has been pursuing the plans within that report ever since.

SmartCode: By the end of September 2006, the city hopes to have an optional overlay district and a mandatory district in place to guide development.

Community center: On August 28 the city signed a lease on a 22-acre parcel of land in a major part of the city, which had been blighted, Section 8 low-income housing. The original residents have found other places to live, so the city intends to eventually build a community center on the site, with retail stores nearby.

Sports complex: The city is in talks to buy about 72 acres, which it intends to hold while it decides how it can be transformed into a sports complex, which may include a state park, softball/baseball fields, etc. The overriding goal is to enhance the area, to make it a destination for the region.

Beachfront enhancement: After Katrina, city officials noticed that homes located behind a quarter-mile strip of manmade sandy beachfront (dubbed “the sandbox” by the locals) fared significantly better than other waterfront homes. The city is working to secure funding from the Army Corps of Engineers to enhance its two-mile stretch of beachfront, transforming it into a sandy beach a la the sandbox.

Efforts are under way to transform the city’s Pascagoula River frontage from light industrial to commercial mixed-use. The area has historically been underutilized; after the storm, not much is left, creating an opportunity to add amenities to attract residents. Toward that end, the city has gone through a comprehensive planning process, which will provide the legal documentation needed to facilitate the change. The city is working with county and city officials to market this area as a viable mixed-use shopping center, complete with marinas, shops, condos, restaurants.


Kay Johnson Kell, city manager
City of Pascagoula
228.938.6614 or

Frank Corder, chairman/director
Pascagoula Economic Development Advisory Council (PEDAC)
Chairman, Pascagoula Renaissance Commission
228.623.1236 (mobile)

Moss Point
A SmartCode charrette was held and a draft delivered to the city. Moss Point is expected to adopt the SmartCode in early fall 2006.

According to an August 22, 2006 article in The Mississippi Press, the Moss Point Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding (formed in October 2005) will release a draft of its Downtown Renewal Plan for citizen review on August 29, 2006. The city’s Board of Aldermen will then vote on the plan. If approved, the city will seek public and private funding to make the blueprint a reality.


Xavier Z. Bishop, mayor
City of Moss Point

Jennifer Flanagan, city liaison

Hancock County
The Affordable Housing Committee of Hancock County’s Governor’s Commission recommended adopting the SmartCode at city centers and areas of new growth in the county. Members of Bay St. Louis City Council have had preliminary discussion about applying a calibrated SmartCode to the historic downtown area and/or the Depot area. 

Planning and urban design consultant Ann Daigle made a presentation on the SmartCode to the Land Use Committee of the Hancock County Governor’s Commission, which is still apprehensive about the purpose and benefits of SmartCode.

In the meantime, Bay St. Louis and the County continue on a joint Comprehensive Plan Update.


Linda Weil
650.678.0419 (mobile)

Harrison County

Patrick Bonck, Jennifer Cowley, and others are working on a SmartCode regional plan, known as the "Sector Plan," for the unincorporated areas of Harrison County. Each of the unincorporated communities in the county is undertaking a planning process
to determine what future development it wants in the area. Further
information on county's planning efforts can be found at the Harrison County Department of Zoning Administration.

Residents in DeLisle use dots to vote for planning action items at a March 2006 town hall meeting. Photo by Jennifer Cowley.


Patrick Bonck, Harrison County zoning administrator

Jennifer Cowley

Jackson County

[Update to come]

Contact: TBD


Manufactured housing factories are gearing up to produce Katrina Cottages for the Gulf Coast. Architect Steve Mouzon visited one factory to make final design revisions, and he reports on progress there.

Go behind the scenes