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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
NORTHERN DIVISION

BBC BAYMEADOWS, LLC,
Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF RIDGELAND, MISSISSIPPI
Defendant.

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Case No. 3:14cv676 HTW-LRA

Expert Report of Margaret Collins, AICP
(Submitted on behalf of BBC Baymeadows, LLC)
September 8, 2015

I.

Qualifications ........................................................................................................... 1

II.

Introduction .............................................................................................................. 1
A.

Assignment ............................................................................................................ 1

B.

Information Considered .......................................................................................... 2

C.

Publications ............................................................................................................ 3

D.

Prior Testimony ...................................................................................................... 3

E.

Independence ........................................................................................................ 3

III. Summary of Opinions ............................................................................................. 3
A.

The 2014 Zoning Ordinance is Internally and Externally Inconsistent and
Arbitrary .............................................................................................................. 3

B.

The Planning Process Underlying the 2014 Zoning Ordinance Was Driven by
Narrow Interests, Not by Needs of the Community............................................. 4

C.

Ridgeland Has Misused the Amortization Technique to Subsidize
Redevelopment of a Low-Income Residential Area ............................................ 5

IV. Background .............................................................................................................. 5
A.

Parties .................................................................................................................... 5

B.

The 2014 Zoning Ordinance .................................................................................. 6

V.
A.

Ridgeland Zoning and Planning Documents: Analysis and Opinions ............... 8
Preamble to the 2014 Ordinance ........................................................................... 9
1.

2008 RAMP ................................................................................................... 10

2.

2009 Comprehensive Plan ............................................................................ 16

3.

2009 Generalized Land Use and Transportation Map .................................. 20

4.
2014 Generalized Land Use and Transportation Plan Map and Official Zoning
Map 23
B.

The 2014 Zoning Ordinance ................................................................................ 24

C.

Class A Hearing And Litigation Justifications ....................................................... 32

D.

1.

Documents Drafted Prior to February 2014 .................................................. 33

2.

Documents Drafted After February 2014 ...................................................... 41

Conclusions .......................................................................................................... 50

VI. The Process for Enacting the 2014 Zoning Ordinance: Analysis and Opinions51
A.

B.

Analysis of Documents “Effectuated By” 2014 Zoning Ordinance ....................... 52
1.

The 2008 RAMP ........................................................................................... 52

2.

The 2009 Comprehensive Plan .................................................................... 60

2014 Zoning Ordinance ........................................................................................ 60

VII. 2014 Zoning Ordinance Amortization Provision: Analysis and Opinions......... 64
A.

History of Amortization ......................................................................................... 64

B.

Application of Amortization to Residential Areas ................................................. 65

C.

Ridgeland’s Amortization Ordinance .................................................................... 66

D.

1.

Classifications of Non-Conformities .............................................................. 66

2.

Amortization Formula .................................................................................... 67

3.

Amortization as Applied to Baymeadows ...................................................... 69

Ridgeland’s Ordinance Is Like No Other Currently in Place in Mississippi .......... 72

I.

QUALIFICATIONS

I am consultant and city planner with 35 years of international experience in real
estate market analysis, land use planning, and zoning for redevelopment of
brownfield sites and buildings. I am a member of the American Planning
Association (“APA”) which represents over 40,000 urban planners nationwide.1
I am certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners (“AICP”), APA’s
professional institute that provides education and leadership in certification of
15,000 professional planners throughout the country.
For the past 25 years, I have been the Director of Cambridge Economic
Research, a consulting firm specializing in site, market, financial, and economic
impact analysis for real estate development projects. I have worked with local,
regional, and state development authorities on numerous redevelopment
projects throughout the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Asia. I have also
advised numerous public authorities and private developers on mixed-use
project content and feasibility. I am an international expert in the application of
amortization techniques to phase out non-conforming uses and have served as
an expert witness in zoning and amortization litigation. Further information
about my professional activities and prior testimony appears in Appendix A.
Prior to establishing Cambridge Economic Research, I was Director of the
Scotland Office of Roger Tym & Partners where I worked with European urban
renewal agencies and private developers on a range of economic and real
estate development projects.
I have an MA in Urban Planning from Washington University and a BA in History
and Political Science from Webster University and am a member and a former
Chairman of the Missouri Division of the American Planning Association. I have
published a book and several articles on redevelopment and economic
development topics, including on the amortization of non-conforming uses.
II.

INTRODUCTION
A. Assignment

I was retained by counsel for Plaintiff BBC Baymeadows, LLC (“BBC”) to provide
an independent and objective review of a series of planning documents and
zoning ordinances prepared by the Defendant City of Ridgeland, Mississippi

1

For more information on the American Planning Association and the American Institute of
Certified Planners, see p. 29-30.

1

(“Ridgeland,” “the City”) over the past decade. Specifically, I focused my
analysis on the zoning ordinance adopted by Ridgeland that became effective
on March 4, 2014 (the “2014 Zoning Ordinance”) and the other prior City
ordinances and documents that preceded it.
These documents, prepared by the City of Ridgeland, provide the alleged basis
for the City’s recent designation of the Baymeadows Apartments as a nonconforming use and the City’s decision to terminate the complex within a specific
time by application of amortization techniques. I have been retained to provide
expert opinions regarding whether these documents, and the policies that
underlie them, are reasonable, consistent, fair, and based on the general
welfare and needs of the citizens of Ridgeland. I have also been retained to
evaluate the amortization formula contained within the 2014 Zoning Ordinance.
Specifically, I was asked to opine on the following:
1. Whether Defendant’s 2014 Zoning Ordinance is internally and externally
consistent with other Ridgeland zoning and planning documents and
policies;
2. Whether Defendant’s process for adopting the 2014 Zoning Ordinance
demonstrates sensitivity to community needs; and
3. Whether Defendant’s amortization formula, embodied in Section 40 of the
2014 Zoning Ordinance, is justifiable and can be applied to the
Baymeadows property.
I have independently come to a conclusion on each of these issues and hold my
opinions to a reasonable degree of professional certainty.
B. Information Considered
Appendix B lists the facts and data I considered for this report. If additional
information becomes available, I will supplement my report as needed.
My analysis of Ridgeland’s planning documents and ordinances is informed by
my graduate education in zoning, land use, and housing law and my 35 years’
experience in advising on amortization techniques, comprehensive plans,
master plans, zoning ordinances, in conducting real estate feasibility studies, in
analyzing economic impacts of transportation projects, and in advising on
content and feasibility of mixed-use development districts.

2

My opinions are based on an in-depth examination of the relevant planning and
zoning documents and on my comparison of these documents for internal and
external consistency. Ridgeland’s planning documents are contrasted with those
of surrounding cities in the Jackson metropolitan statistical area and with the
American Planning Association’s model legislation on mixed-use districts, nonconforming uses, and amortization. I also considered the witness testimony in
this lawsuit on these issues.
C. Publications
All of my publications from the past ten years are listed in Appendix C.
D. Prior Testimony
Appendix D lists all cases in which I have testified, either by deposition or at
trial, in the last four years.
E. Independence
I am being compensated at the hourly rate of $275 for my time spent on this
matter. I will be compensated for deposition testimony at a rate of $350 an hour
and for trial testimony at a rate of $375 an hour. No compensation is contingent
upon the nature of my findings or on the outcome of this litigation.
III.

SUMMARY OF OPINIONS

In this matter, based on my analysis of the evidence, comparative analyses of
other municipalities’ policies and national city-planning group guidance, and my
experience as a city planner, I find that the rezoning of East Southeast
Ridgeland and the property where the Baymeadows Apartments is situated for
mixed-use development was arbitrary, unrelated to the general welfare, and was
driven by a narrow and un-inclusive process which was intended, not to meet
community needs, but to displace the residents of apartments. It is my opinion
that Ridgeland’s attempt to eliminate apartment complexes through amortization
is a misuse of the technique, which was designed to protect residential areas
from isolated heavy industrial and noxious commercial uses or to remove garish
signs and billboards from open or vacant land.
A. The 2014 Zoning Ordinance is Internally and Externally
Inconsistent and Arbitrary
My review of the seminal documents on which the City of Ridgeland has based
its decision to rezone Baymeadows shows that there is little or no internal
consistency with respect to the rezoning of Baymeadows within these
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documents and that there is a lack of consistency among them. In many
respects, the recommendations of these documents regarding redevelopment of
the Baymeadows site are contradictory. The data used by the City to support
termination of the Baymeadows Apartments are faulty and piecemeal and do not
support the conclusion that the termination of Baymeadows as a non-conforming
use is in the general public interest.
Mississippi law requires that zoning decisions be supported by a
Comprehensive Plan. There is no support for the rezoning of Baymeadows and
surrounding properties in Ridgeland’s comprehensive planning or in any of the
other planning documents that the City has cited in its attempt to amortize these
properties. Nor is there any amortization policy or any other reference to
amortization of non-conforming uses contained in Ridgeland’s Comprehensive
Plan. The City’s Comprehensive Plan projects a demand for over 11,000
additional housing units by 2020. The units proposed for termination in the
mixed-use district as outlined in Ridgeland’s 2014 Zoning Ordinance represent
23% of the rental housing stock and 11% of the City’s total housing units.2
Elimination of such a large proportion of the rental stock in a City with just 485
available rental units3 is irreconcilable with the projections in the Comprehensive
Plan and thus inconsistent.4 For these and many other reasons detailed fully
below, I regard the City’s actions to be arbitrary and unreasonable.
B. The Planning Process Underlying the 2014 Zoning Ordinance
Was Driven by Narrow Interests, Not by Needs of the Community
The 2014 Zoning Ordinance was not supported by a timely or meaningful public
participation process. The City alleges that a series of public workshops
conducted seven years earlier for the 2008 Ridgeland Area Master Plan
(“RAMP”) provided the public input needed to develop the 2014 Zoning
Ordinance. However, a Master Plan Steering Committee whose members were

2 City of Ridgeland, MS Census 2010 Data for Zipcode 39157, http://www.zipcodes.com/city/MS-Ridgeland-2010-census.asp (last visited Aug. 27, 2015).
3
It is likely that this number of available units has declined even further. According to the
Second Quarter 2015 Reis Asset Advisor REIS Observer Report for the Jackson submarket of
the second quarter of 2015, the vacancy rate in this market was reported at 3.9%. This was a
significant decline in vacancy since 2010.
4
The 2010 Census data show that there were a total of 849 vacant units in Ridgeland in 2010
and that just 485 of these units were rental units. See 2010 Block Census Data for
Baymeadows,

4

exclusively white led the public process that informed the 2008 RAMP.
contrast, 93% of the residents of Baymeadows are non-White.5

By

The public participation process was driven and guided by Ridgeland’s
Community Development Department and an outside consultant, the Moore
Planning Group, and carefully overseen by the City’s Mayor and Board of
Aldermen. No attempt was made to include either apartment residents or
owners of apartments in the committees or the public workshops that guided the
RAMP even though these groups would be profoundly affected by the
redevelopment plan. By contrast, special roundtable sessions were conducted
for bankers and realtors. I have found that the recommendations of the 2008
RAMP for East Southeast Ridgeland that emerged from this fundamentally
flawed process were piecemeal and contradictory and, in any event, provide no
support for the 2014 mixed–use rezoning of the district that occurred seven
years later.
C. Ridgeland Has Misused the Amortization Technique to Subsidize
Redevelopment of a Low-Income Residential Area
The original intent of amortization was to protect residential areas against
encroachment by non-conforming industrial uses that present nuisances in
terms of noise, safety, traffic, or health. Most of these uses pre-dated the
neighborhoods that had developed around them. More recently it has been
used to eliminate garish and outmoded signs and billboards.
In sum,
amortization was intended as a spot nuisance elimination technique; it was
never intended nor, to my knowledge, has it ever been used to gain control of
large residential neighborhoods for redevelopment.
In my 35 years of
experience with zoning and planning, I have never heard of amortization being
used to subsidize or facilitate comprehensive redevelopment of large residential
neighborhoods, as is being attempted by the City of Ridgeland.
Moreover, the amortization formula outlined in Ridgeland’s 2014 Zoning
Ordinance is flawed in numerous respects. For instance, in order to derive any
amortization period from this formula, a positive financial return is required.
Even then, the formula references many undefined and unspecified factors,
making it impossible to determine how it will be applied in practice. Since
Baymeadows has realized a loss for the past three years, the formula dictated
by the Ordinance cannot be applied to amortize the Baymeadows Apartments in
any meaningful way.

5

2010 Block Census Data for Baymeadows.

5

IV.

BACKGROUND
A. Parties

Defendant, the City of Ridgeland is located in the Jackson Mississippi
metropolitan area, just north of the Jackson city limits. Ridgeland’s estimated
population in 2013 was 24,427, a 1.6% increase from 2010. According to 2013
estimates, the population is about 60% white and 33% African-American.
Ridgeland is a relatively affluent community. The median household income is
$52,233, one-third above the Statewide median of $39,031. Ridgeland’s poverty
level—at 10%—is less than half of the state average.6
Plaintiff BBC Baymeadows, LLC has owned and operated the Baymeadows
Apartments since August 2013. One of the members of the LLC has had a
financial interest in the property since its affiliate initiated a loan ultimately
secured by the property in January 2011. The Baymeadows Apartments consist
of 17 buildings, containing 264 rental units, and is located at 110 Pine Knoll
Drive in the far Southeast quadrant of the City of Ridgeland. Prior to the 2014
Zoning Ordinance, the Baymeadows Apartments existed as a lawful nonconforming use since the City annexed it in 1980.
B. The 2014 Zoning Ordinance
In February 2014, the City of Ridgeland adopted the 2014 Zoning Ordinance.
One impact of the Ordinance was that the City rezoned an area of approximately
144 acres in Southeast Ridgeland from R-5 use (which permits high-density
multi-family development) to a mixed-use district.
The new mixed-use zoning designation, called MU-1 by the City, prohibits multifamily residential development and apartment complexes unless they are in
vertical mixed-use buildings. Multi-family buildings that are 100% residential are
prohibited in the district.7 Vertical mixed-use buildings of up to 4 stories are
permitted in the MU-1 district as a conditional use, subject to approval by the
City. The City defines vertical mixed-use buildings as buildings with commercial
uses (shops, restaurants, offices) on the ground floor and with residential units
on some or all of the upper floors. No specific density is prescribed for vertical

6

Ridgeland, Mississippi Census Quickfacts, 2013,
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/28/2862520.html (last visited Aug. 27, 2015).
7
See Ridgeland-BM-00940, 2014 Official Zoning Ordinance; see also 8/27/15 Deposition of
Matthew Dodd (hereinafter “Dodd Dep.”) at 42-45.

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mixed-use buildings, but some dimensional limits are specified.8 The impact of
these specifications on potential residential densities within the mixed-use
district will be evaluated in this report.
This zoning change has severe consequences for Ridgeland’s non-conforming
apartment complexes, as is shown in the table below. The new mixed-use
district includes Baymeadows and four surrounding apartment complexes.
These five apartment complexes have a total of 1308 units that are scheduled to
be amortized under a formula specified in the Ordinance.
The 2014 Ordinance seeks to eliminate the six apartment complexes that were
rezoned in East Southeast Ridgeland by application of an amortization formula
that, in lieu of compensation, is intended to provide time for the owner to recover
his investment in the property.9 It further seeks to reduce the densities of nine
other apartment complexes not rezoned.
Five apartment complexes in
Southeast Ridgeland with a total of 1308 units have been rezoned for mixed-use
development. 10 These 1308 units comprise 11% of the City’s total housing
stock, in which about 1 in 9 of Ridgeland’s households reside. They also
comprise nearly one-quarter of the City’s rental units (see table on next page).
The 2014 Zoning Ordinance also impacts other apartment complexes in the
City. Ridgeland Ranch Apartments on County Line Road has been rezoned for
commercial use. And an additional 821 units in 9 complexes are being required
to reduce densities to a maximum of 10 units per acre. All of these complexes
had existed for decades as lawful non-conforming uses. In total, 2274 units are
scheduled to be removed through the amortization process. This represents
37% of the City’s rental units and nearly 20% of its total housing units. In reality,
the loss of units could be greater if any of the complexes required to reduce
density have to cease operation due to financial infeasibility of operating at the
lowered density.

8

Ridgeland-BM-00940, 2014 Official Zoning Ordinance at Ridgeland-BM-01053.
See id.at Section 40, at Ridgeland-BM-00992.
10
Ridgeland-BM-01714, Comparative Apartment Analysis Summary Sept. 16, 2009. The 1308
units include only the 5 complexes that were rezoned for mixed-use development in East
Southeast Ridgeland. This excludes an additional 145 units in the Ridgeland Ranch Complex
that have been rezoned for commercial use. It also excludes the 821 units in nine existing
complexes that exceed the City’s density units and are threatened with amortization. In total,
2274 units in 15 complexes are threatened with potential amortization. This is 37% of the City’s
rental stock and nearly 20% of its total housing stock. See also Table on p. 8..
9

7

Number  of  Apartment  Units  Slated  for  Removal  
Under  the  2014  Zoning  Ordinance  
 
Complexes  in  the  East  Southeast  Mixed-­‐Use  District:  
#  of  Units  to  be  
Eliminated  
 
Baymeadows  
264  
Sunchase  
392  
Northbrook  I  &  III  
180  
Pinebrook  
160  
Oakbrook  
312  
Subtotal  
1308  
 
Complexes  Rezoned  to  Commercial  Use:  
Ridgeland  Ranch  
145  
 
Complexes  Required  to  Reduce  Density:  
Gables  
50  
Lakeshore  Landing  
89  
Pear  Orchard  Apts.  
155  
Van  Mark  
77  
Park  Place  
50  
Van  Mark  
59  
Trace  
199  
Lexington  
88  
Arbors  at  Trace  
54  
Subtotal  Density  Reduction  Units  
839  

 
 
 
 
 
 
Units  
 
 
Units  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Units  

 
Total  
Units  to  be  Removed  

 
2274  

 
Units  

  of  Ridgeland's  Rental  Units  
%  
%  of  Ridgeland’s  Housing  Stock  

 
37%  
19%  

 
 
 

Source: Ex. 34, What Will Amortization Mean at BM-14746.

V.

 

RIDGELAND ZONING AND PLANNING DOCUMENTS: ANALYSIS
AND OPINIONS

In this section, I first explain why the documents that the City of Ridgeland
claims to have relied on in drafting and implementing the 2014 Zoning
Ordinance are both internally and externally inconsistent, and are also
inconsistent with the City’s actions and rationale as outlined in the 2014 Zoning
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Ordinance. Most of these documents are listed in the City’s 2014 Zoning
Ordinance’s Preamble as having provided the basis for the Ordinance. I next
examine the 2014 Zoning Ordinance itself in relation to professional planning
concepts commonly used to guide local governments in land use decisionmaking.
During the Class A proceedings that were initiated by apartment complexes
seeking to be eliminated as non-conforming uses and in testimony in this
litigation, the City references a number of documents that were drafted after the
passage of the 2014 Zoning Ordinance. I explain why these documents drafted
after the fact, are likewise inconsistent with the documents drafted before the
passage of the Ordinance, and still do not support the City’s actions.
In summary, the report demonstrates that the City’s zoning and planning actions
in the last decade have been both internally and externally inconsistent, and
thus are arbitrary.
A. Preamble to the 2014 Ordinance
The City of Ridgeland lists numerous documents in the Preamble to the 2014
Zoning Ordinance as documents that the City purportedly relied on in crafting
the Ordinance and its provisions. Specifically, the Preamble notes:11
WHEREAS, in 2006, the community undertook the
Ridgeland Area Master Plan (RAMP), adopted by the City in
2008 and readopted by the successor administration in 2009,
which examined the long terms needs, goals, and strategic
opportunities in the City and a large area west of the city limits.
This asset-based planning process identified opportunities to
strengthen Ridgeland’s quality of life, and recommended changes
to Ridgeland’s master land use plan; and
WHEREAS, in 2009, Ridgeland adopted an updated
Comprehensive
Plan, reflecting in part the RAMP
recommendations; and
WHEREAS, since the adoption of the 2009 plan nearly five
years ago, a number of significant changes have impacted
Ridgeland, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future,

11

Ridgeland-BM-00940, 2014 Official Zoning Ordinance, Preamble, at Ridgeland-BM-00943 946 (emphasis added).

9

including the adoption of a new transportation plan in 2012;
major ongoing upgrades to I-55; the building out of large scale
developments such as Renaissance at Colony Park bringing
additional businesses and activity to the city; and other major
improvements in various stages of planning and implementation
such as Lake Harbour Drive and Colony Park Boulevard. These
changes contribute to the future development of the city, and
require that Ridgeland update its land use and transportation
plans; and . . .
***
WHEREAS, following the aforesaid public hearing, the
Mayor and Board of Aldermen adopted a new Generalized
Future Land Use and Transportation Plan;
In this section of the report, I analyze the documents that Ridgeland stated it
relied upon (per the Preamble) in drafting the 2014 Zoning Ordinance in order to
determine if the 2014 Zoning Ordinance is consistent with the goals and
objectives outlined in these documents. I conclude that the goals and objectives
outlined in these documents are, in fact, inconsistent with the 2014 Zoning
Ordinance.
1. 2008 RAMP
In this section, I examine the 2008 Ridgeland Area Master Plan (“RAMP”), which
the City of Ridgeland lists as one of the documents that guided its decision to
create and pass the 2014 Ordinance. As is explained in greater detail below,
this document is largely inconsistent with the stated goals for the Ordinance.
RAMP Financing
Inappropriately, the 2008 RAMP was financed by a group comprised of
construction contractors, realtors, developers, property managers, and
advertising agencies, as well as banks and utility companies.12 In my 35 years’
experience, I have never encountered a citywide planning process that was
funded by members of the construction, real estate, and property management
industries.

12

Ridgeland-BM-01357, 2008 Ridgeland Area Master Plan (hereinafter “RAMP”) (back cover).

10

A municipal master plan should reflect the needs and interest of the entire
community, not those of the real estate development community, which has a
clear financial stake in the outcome of the planning process. For example, one
feasibility analysis of the redevelopment of Southeast Ridgeland prepared by the
City’s Director of Community Development in 2009 discussed relaxing building
code enforcement for existing apartments for a period of time as a financial
incentive for a private developer to eventually redevelop Baymeadows and the
other four surrounding apartment complexes that were rezoned in 2014.13 In my
35 years of experience, I have never reviewed official work product that
contemplated such a misuse of code enforcement.
Southeast Ridgeland Redevelopment Focus Area
The RAMP identifies seven sub-areas within the City as Focus Areas. Focus
Areas are priority areas for development and redevelopment that the City
considers areas of opportunity. Most of the focus districts contain large tracts of
undeveloped land and/or older commercial and residential neighborhoods that
the City would like to see redeveloped.
The Baymeadows Apartments and the four surrounding apartment complexes
are located in the East Southeast Focus Area, which is generally bounded by
Lake Harbour Drive on the North, the City Limits on the East, County Line Road
on the South, and Northpark Drive/Woodlands Parkway on the West. This area
anchors the City on the Southeast. There is a wide mix of residential land uses
here including:

8,000 to 11,000 sq. ft. houses in the gated Montrose Woods
development valued at up to $1.5 million.

La Roche Court, where townhouses of 4,000 to 5,500 sq. ft. range

Modest single-family homes in the $100,000 to $200,000 range.

Ten major apartment complexes with thousands of affordable rental
units renting for around $550 to $1350 a month, including
Baymeadows.

13

Ridgeland-BM-01695, 2009 Southeast Ridgeland Redevelopment Project Analysis, at
Ridgeland-BM-01707.
,

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Strip retail and commercial districts clustered around the
intersections of Old Canton Road & County Line Road and Old
Canton Road & Pine Knoll Drive.

The RAMP for the East Southeast Focus Area contains no detailed analysis of
existing housing, demographics, or infrastructure within East Southeast
Ridgeland.14 Such analysis is critical to providing a foundation for a municipal
master plan, which should reflect the needs of the community. A plan whose
purpose it is to serve the general public welfare should incorporate a needs
analysis of the general public it serves.
The RAMP sets general goals for the area in terms of conservation, quality,
connectivity, and image. However, such goals are inconsistent with each other
and with the City’s zoning ordinances. For example, on page 70 of the RAMP,
in the pink text box on the left side, Goal 4 calls for “development and
implementation of a City-Center complex”15 within the East Southeast Focus
Area., while Goal 4 in the main text of page 70 specifies that the new units
should be built at medium density.16 The City considers the R-4 zoning class,
which permits 6 units per acre, to be medium density.
On page 71 of the RAMP, however, redevelopment of apartment complexes with
clustered cottages at a density of 12-26 units an acre is recommended. Clearly,
a City Center complex is inconsistent with medium density housing. Both are
inconsistent with the proposed cottage cluster concept at a density of 12-26
units per acre. Not only is this inconsistent with the previously stated goal of
medium density residential development, it is also out of compliance with the
2014 Zoning Ordinance which restricts residential density to a maximum of 10
units an acre—another obvious contradiction.

14

Ridgeland-BM-01357, RAMP at Ridgeland-BM-01425 - 1432.
Id. at Ridgeland-BM-01432.
16
Id.
15

12

Rendering of Cottage Cluster Development Proposed for SE Ridgeland
Source: Ridgeland-BM-01357, RAMP

The cottage cluster proposal calls for the development of small (500 sq. ft. –
1800 sq. ft.) houses in dense clusters of up to 26 units per acre. Clustered
units would share common space and would range in value from $150,000 to
$300,000. The text notes that cottage clusters are not compatible with multifamily residential due to conflicts in scale. They presumably would not be
compatible with the City Center concept introduced on the previous page or with
the mix of residential and commercial uses that was endorsed by the 2014
Zoning Ordinance. As previously noted, the 12-26 unit per acre density exceeds
the maximum density of 10 units per acre that is prescribed by both the City’s
2001 and 2014 Zoning Ordinances.
As I will discuss in the sections that follow, this pattern of internal and external
contradiction is evident in all documents and maps leading to the 2014 Zoning
Ordinance. It indicates that the City is not genuinely concerned about density.
Rather, such inconsistency illustrates the arbitrary and insincere nature of a
planning process that appears to have been driven by a desire to displace
existing residents.

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2014 Ordinance Inconsistencies with RAMP
Above, I discussed how the land use recommendations and zoning for
redevelopment of East Southeast Ridgeland has shifted from cottage clusters to
mixed-use development. However, Ridgeland has not demonstrated that any of
these uses (or the traditional neighborhood development use also proposed and
discussed below) is feasible in this location. The limited analysis that was
undertaken by the Community Development Department concluded that the gap
between acquisition costs and revenue potential ranged from $95 million to $115
million.17 No viable strategy to meet this gap has been put forward.
Although numerous attempts have been made to interest potential developers in
the area, none have come forward with viable proposals for redevelopment to a
mix of uses, as is detailed by Alan Hart in his deposition.18 The City made no
serious attempt to evaluate the costs of mixed-use development against market
rents and real estate values in East Southeast Ridgeland. In his deposition, Mr.
Hart admitted that, even today, Ridgeland does not know what uses will take the
place of apartments once their use is terminated via amortization.19
In a small, inner suburban community like Ridgeland, there is a limited demand
for commercial and residential space in mixed-use developments in view of the
fact that all mixed-use buildings are required to have commercial space at
ground level.20 In the absence of 100% residential development, it is unlikely
that the residents of the mixed-use district could support such a large volume of
commercial development.
Mixed-use development is neither appropriate nor feasible for the Southeast
District due to lack of direct interstate highway access. Policy 31 of the
Comprehensive Plan requires that mixed-use developments locate at the
crossroads of major arterials. The Baymeadows site is not at the crossroads of
major arterials.
The RAMP’s analysis of the East Southeast Focus Area states that the
difficulties within the East Southeast Focus Area “stem from its fragmented
nature that results from the poor connections between parcels within the area.”21

17

Ridgeland-BM-01695,2009 Southeast Ridgeland Redevelopment Project Analysis at
Ridgeland-BM-01708.
18
6/4/15 - 6/5/15 30(b)(6) Deposition of Alan Hart (hereinafter “Hart 30(b)(6) Dep.”) at 408-415
19
Id.
20
Ridgeland-BM-00940, 2014 Official Zoning Ordinance Ridgeland-BM-01054.
21
Ridgeland-BM-01357, RAMP at Ridgeland-BM-01431.

14

The solution to this problem, as proposed in Goal 3 of the Focus Area Plan, is to
create pedestrian and bike paths to improve connectivity within the area. These
improvements can easily be made to the existing fabric of the neighborhood.
Poor connectivity and fragmentation do not justify redevelopment of existing
housing.
The RAMP laments the lack of “livability assets” in the East Southeast Ridgeland
Focus Area. By “livability assets” we assume that the City means infrastructure
(e.g., sidewalks, bike paths) and community facilities (e.g., libraries, community
centers). But livability assets can be provided without eliminating the existing
affordable housing units that the area provides. Redevelopment is not
necessary to improve either connectivity or livability assets.
The Focus Area Plan acknowledges that there are several large undeveloped
tracts within the East Southeast Ridgeland district. The Assessor’s Land Roll
shows that, just northeast of Baymeadows, there are vacant sites with frontage
on the east side of Old Canton Road with a total of 28 acres just north of the
utility easement here.22 28 of these acres are in 2 contiguous parcels that are
owned by Doubletree Properties. The logical and most cost-efficient approach
would be to encourage development of these vacant sites rather than
advocating a difficult, lengthy, and expensive redevelopment process that
eliminates existing low-income housing units.

22

Madison County, Mississippi Land Roll Parcel Search, http://www.madison-co.com/electedoffices/tax-assessor/search-by-parcel.php (last visited Aug. 30, 2015).

15

Aerial photo showing large tracts of vacant land with frontage on Old Canton Road.
The tracts on the east side of Old Canton Road are in a single ownership, which would
make them easy to assemble for development.

The RAMP lays out conflicting goals and vague concept plans that do not
provide a valid basis for the 2014 Zoning Ordinance.
2. 2009 Comprehensive Plan
The City lists the 2009 Comprehensive Plan as a document that it relied upon in
crafting the 2014 Zoning Ordinance. The City’s 2009 Comprehensive Plan,
which also incorporates the 2008 RAMP, is an update of the 2001
Comprehensive Plan prepared by the Central Mississippi Planning &
Development District, the regional planning agency. Ridgeland’s documents
and witnesses explain that the 2009 Comprehensive Plan was intended to
incorporate the zoning recommendations of the RAMP, which would then be
used for future land-use planning.23 But there are pronounced inconsistencies

23

Ridgeland-BM-01810, 2009 Community Development Department Annual Report.

16

among the 2008 RAMP, the 2009 Comprehensive Plan, the 2009 Generalized
Future Land Use & Transportation Plan Map, the 2012 Transportation Plan, and
the 2014 Zoning Ordinance.
2014 Ordinance Inconsistencies with 2009 Comprehensive Plan
The housing needs assessment contained in the 2009 Comprehensive Plan
projects a demand for 11,065 additional housing units by 2020. This begs the
question of why the City would eliminate over 1300 units in the five apartment
complexes by rezoning them in 2014. These units comprise 11% of the City’s
housing stock—1308 units out of the total of 11,953 existing housing units.24
Contrary to the claims of City officials regarding the large supply of available
rental units for working people, the 2010 zip code census data indicates that
there were just 485 rental housing units available in the City,25 clearly insufficient
to make up for the loss of units that are threatened by the 2014 rezoning (see
Table on p. 8). Moreover, the City has admitted that it neither commissioned nor
performed any study or analysis that assessed how the loss of affordable
housing units from its redevelopment plan would affect residents of
apartments.26 As an expert in urban planning, I find this omission disturbing.
Ridgeland’s 2009 Comprehensive Plan introduces a new class of land use—
mixed-use development. Mixed-use is defined as “areas which are suitable for
high quality, high density development.”27 The Plan imposes no specific density
limits on mixed-use development. Flexibility in design is encouraged, as is a
high level of planning and design review.
The Comprehensive Plan
recommends mixed-use zoning for the Highland Colony Parkway Corridor, but
there is no mention of a mixed-use zoning designation for Southeast Ridgeland.
In fact, as explained above, the RAMP contemplated high-density single-family
residential development. And as explained below the 2009 Future Land Use
Plan adopted along with the Comprehensive Plan classified this area as “TND”
for “traditional neighborhood development.” Neither plan proposed mixed-use
zoning.

24

City of Ridgeland, MS Census 2010 Data for Zipcode 39157, http://www.zipcodes.com/city/MS-Ridgeland-2010-census.asp (last visited Aug. 27, 2015).
25
Id. These data show that there were a total of 863 vacant units in Ridgeland in 2010 and that
just 485 of these units were rental units.
26
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 197-198, 295-296-, 523-525.
27
Ridgeland-BM-00095, 2009 Comprehensive Plan at Ridgeland-BM-00144.

17

Policy 29.5 of the City’s 2009 Comprehensive Plan encourages mixed-use
developments to locate along major arterial streets and interstate highways.28
The Baymeadows site that was eventually rezoned for mixed-use in 2014 is 3 –
4 miles from the nearest interstate access, an unsuitable location for a major
mixed-use development in an inner suburban community like Ridgeland. The
site is on Pine Knoll Drive, which is not a major arterial, an understanding that is
shared by the City.29 There are, however, a number of large vacant sites on Old
Canton Road, which is a major arterial. These might be more suitable for mixeduse development.
In spite of the new mixed-use category, the 2009 Comprehensive Plan still
contains the traditional (and outmoded) emphasis on separation of commercial
and residential land uses. Policy 26 calls for a separation of residential and
commercial development.30 Policy 29.8 calls for buffering of commercial and
residential uses. However, the 2014 Ordinance allows multi-family units in
buildings with first-floor commercial space in mixed-use districts, a position that
is seemingly inconsistent with this requirement.
Policy 20.2 stipulates that the City should appoint a redevelopment authority to
carry out the redevelopment plan.31 The 2008 RAMP also calls for the creation
of a redevelopment authority. However, no steps have been initiated to set up a
redevelopment authority, in contrast to the recommendations set forth in the
City’s Comprehensive Plan.32 One of Ridgeland’s witnesses claimed that the
Mayor and Board of Aldermen constituted the redevelopment authority required
by the Comprehensive Plan. 33 In my experience, however, redevelopment
authorities are usually independent from City Government, although they may
have a representative from the City Planning Department on their boards. In any
event, I have seen no evidence that the Mayor and Board of Aldermen were
designated a redevelopment authority for Southeast Ridgeland before the
passage of the 2014 Ordinance.
Policy 20.1 requires the City to prepare a redevelopment plan for Ridgeland that
identifies areas in need of redevelopment. However, the City has taken steps

28

Id. at Ridgeland-BM-00113
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 158
30
Ridgeland-BM-00095, 2009 Comprehensive Plan at Ridgeland-BM-00111
31
Id. at Ridgeland-BM-00109
32
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 108-109.
33
Dodd Dep. at 82.
29

18

toward planning and developing a financing strategy for acquisition of
redevelopment sites34 without a valid redevelopment plan.
In his detailed presentation of February 5, 2015, the City’s Director of
Community Development insisted that the 2008 RAMP for East Southeast
Ridgeland is the redevelopment plan for the area.35 City planner Matt Dodd
claimed the same in his deposition.36 However, the 2008 RAMP cannot be the
redevelopment plan intended by the 2009 Comprehensive Plan because it was
already in existence at the time that the 2009 Comprehensive Plan was drafted
and is explicitly incorporated in the plan. Alan Hart, in his deposition, agreed
that the 2009 Comprehensive Plan includes the 2008 RAMP Plan.37 Mr. Hart
also reaffirmed the City’s claim that the 2014 Zoning Ordinance was intended to
implement the 2009 Comprehensive Plan.38
My professional opinion, based on my 35 years of experience working with
redevelopment plans, is that the 2008 RAMP does not contain the basic
elements of a bona fide redevelopment plan. A redevelopment plan must clearly
identify the boundaries of the redevelopment. It should include a detailed
analysis of the capacity of the site to absorb the quantity of development
proposed.39 The analysis should specify the amount of site area to be used for
new buildings, streets, and open space.
Additionally, the redevelopment plan should clearly state the square footage of
office and retail development that can be accommodated on the site. It should
contain a detailed housing production plan that specifies the number and
phasing of affordable and market rate units that are to be built. Detailed maps
and plans should be provided for any proposed changes to street patterns and
pedestrian connections. A redevelopment plan needs to lay out a phasing plan
with goals for production of housing units, commercial space, and infrastructure
to support each phase.

34

Ridgeland-BM-01695, 2009 Southeast Ridgeland Redevelopment Project Analysis.
1/6/15; 2/17/15 BBC Section 11 and Class A Hearing Tr. (hereinafter “Section 11 and Class A
Hearing Tr.”),Ex. 64, 2/5/15 Detailed Presentation by Alan Hart, at 10-11.
36
Dodd Dep. at 80-84.
37
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 145-147
38
Id. at 160
39
Seattle Housing Authority, Yesler Terrace Development Plan, May 17, 2011 provides an
excellent example of a comprehensive neighborhood redevelopment plan containing al
necessary plan elements.
35

19

As part of a redevelopment plan, a detailed relocation plan should be developed
to minimize disruption to existing residents and to compensate them for moving
costs and any difference in rent at a new location.40 The redevelopment plan
should include a plan for ongoing public participation during the development
and construction phases. Financial analysis with estimated costs for each plan
element and sources of funding including land proceeds, mortgage debt, tax
credits, private capital, and federal, state, and City funds should be provided.
As noted, the 2008 RAMP contains none of these basic elements. It does not
clearly specify the boundaries of the areas proposed for redevelopment within
the East Southeast Focus Area. There is no analysis of the physical capacity of
the redevelopment sites in terms of the quantity of development that could be
accommodated. No build out analysis or phasing plan is provided for potential
redevelopment sites based on the capacity of the local market to absorb the
proposed quantity and type of development. There is no housing production
plan that specifies goals for providing affordable housing for the large number of
households that could be displaced by the redevelopment contemplated in the
RAMP.
For similar reasons, and because the City did not follow its recommendations in
the 2014 Zoning Map that it adopted with the 2014 Ordinance, the 2009
“Confidential Project Analysis” document referenced by Mr. Hart and Mr. Dodd
during their deposition testimony (in which Mr. Hart estimates the funding
requirement for purchasing the five apartment complexes)41 does not constitute
the bona fide redevelopment plan required by Ridgeland’s Comprehensive Plan.
3. 2009 Generalized Land Use and Transportation Map
The 2009 Generalized Future Land Use and Transportation Plan Map of March
6, 2009 implemented the 2009 Comprehensive Plan. As I have discussed, the
2009 Comprehensive Plan incorporated the 2008 RAMP. The 2008 RAMP
recommended redevelopment of East Southeast Ridgeland with a clustered
cottage concept, with units of 500 – 1800 sq. ft. built at densities of 12-26 units
an acre. The 2009 Generalized Future Land Use and Transportation Plan Map
(“2009 Land Use Map”) designates Baymeadows and the surrounding
apartment complex district for “Traditional Neighborhood Development”
(“Residential TND”). The text of the 2008 RAMP clearly distinguishes cottage

40
41

Id. at 14.
Ridgeland-BM-01695, 2009 Southeast Ridgeland Redevelopment Project Analysis.

20

cluster development from traditional single-family neighborhoods.42 The 2009
Comprehensive Plan mentions the concept of Residential TND but does not
recommend its application to any specific area. The graphic below contrasts the
street patterns of Conventional Suburban Development with Traditional
Neighborhood Development:

Source: American Planning Association (“APA”), The Principles of Smart Development.
PAS No. 479

The Residential TND zoning shown on the 2009 Land Use Map is not consistent
with the cottage cluster concept advocated for East Southeast Ridgeland in the
2008 RAMP. Ridgeland’s 2009 Comprehensive Plan defines Residential TND
as areas that are suitable for development or redevelopment in the manner that
brings back the essence of Ridgeland Historic Neighborhoods that were
developed on a grid system. 43 Traditional neighborhood design rejects the
concept of disconnected cul-de-sac development and instead encourages
connection between streets to overcome segregation of uses and to make
walking the priority instead of automobile trips.
In contrast to the grid pattern of streets that characterizes traditional
neighborhood development, the proposed development strategy for the East
Southeast Ridgeland Focus Area that is illustrated by the map on page 70 of the
RAMP shows a conventional suburban pattern of cul-de-sac development.

42
43

Ridgeland-BM-01357 RAMP, at Ridgeland-BM-01432
Ridgeland-BM-00095, 2009 Comprehensive Plan, at Ridgeland-BM-00143.

21

Redevelopment concept for Cottage Clusters presented in the 2008 RAMP Plan.
Source: Ridgeland-BM-01357, RAMP

The RAMP calls for a cottage cluster concept consisting of small single-family
houses at a density of 12-26 units per acre per acre. 44 APA’s Traditional
Neighborhood Development design principles recommend an overall density of
six to ten (6-10) units per acre.45 Through the combination of detached houses,
garage and loft apartments, townhomes, live/work units, condominiums, and
apartments, a Residential TND provides many different housing styles catering
to different lifestyles and budgets. The cottage cluster concept proposed by the
RAMP calls solely for the development of small single-family houses.
Traditional Neighborhood Design usually incorporates private yard space, rather
than common open space as is recommended for the cottage cluster concept.
The photo below shows a typical Traditional Neighborhood Development in
South Carolina. This contrasts with the cottage cluster concept from the RAMP
that is presented on p. 13 of this report. Residential Traditional Neighborhood
Development is defined in Ridgeland’s 2009 Comprehensive Plan as follows:
Traditional Neighborhood Development identifies areas which are
suitable for development or redevelopment in the manner that
brings back the essence of Ridgeland Historic Neighborhoods that
44

Ridgeland-BM-01357, RAMP at Ridgeland-BM-01432
American Planning Association (“APA”),The Principles of Smart Development.
PAS No. 479

45

22

were developed on a grid system. This can be accomplished
through innovative development using Traditional Neighborhood
Developments (TND) principles and design guidelines.46  

O’Neal Village, Traditional Neighborhood Development, Greer, South Carolina.

Thus, the rezoning of the Baymeadows Apartments and the surrounding site for
mixed-use development that occurred in 2014 is not supported by the 2009
Generalized Future Land Use and Transportation Plan Map, or by any
subsequent amendment to the plan.
4. 2014 Generalized Land Use and Transportation Plan Map and
Official Zoning Map
On February 4, 2014, nearly five years after adopting the 2009 Comprehensive
Plan and the 2009 Generalized Future Land Use and Transportation Plan Map
discussed above, the Board of Alderman adopted the 2014 Generalized Future
Land Use and Transportation Plan Map and the 2014 Official Zoning Map.47 At
that time, the City did not replace the existing 2009 Comprehensive Plan, which
remains the operative Comprehensive Plan today. Changing Maps does not
constitute a new comprehensive plan nor are they a valid amendment to the
existing comprehensive plan.
The specific legal contents of a comprehensive plan are set out in 17-1-1 of the
Mississippi Code under which four components are required of a document to
constitute a “comprehensive plan,” which is the basis of all zoning decisions.
While I am not providing a legal opinion, 17-1-1 expressly states that these
components include “at a minimum”:

46
47

Ridgeland-BM-00095, 2009 Comprehensive Plan at Ridgeland-BM-00143.
Ridgeland-BM-01156 - 1176,Ridgeland, Mississippi Official Zoning Maps

23

A statement of goals and objectives for the long-range (20-25
years) development of the municipality.

A Land Use Plan

A Transportation Plan

A Plan for Community Facilities

The 2014 Zoning Ordinance is underpinned by just two of the four documents
required by State Law: the 2014 Generalized Future Land Use and
Transportation Plan Map and the 2014 Official Zoning Map. No consistent
statement of goals and objectives is provided nor is there any plan for
community facilities, as is required by Mississippi law. The rezoning of the area
surrounding Baymeadows for mixed-use development is not supported by the
2009 Comprehensive Plan, the 2008 RAMP, or by any other document prepared
by the City to defend the 2014 Zoning Ordinance. This indicates an insincere,
hasty process.
A zoning ordinance is intended to be a tool to implement a land use plan that is
based on a comprehensive plan. In this case, the process was entirely
reversed—that is, it appears that the 2014 Zoning Ordinance itself is the sole
basis for Ridgeland’s 2014 Land Use Plan Map. This is improper. Many of the
goals and recommendations of the 2008 RAMP and 2009 Comprehensive Plan
are in direct conflict with the 2014 Generalized Future Land Use and
Transportation Plan Map, and the 2014 Official Zoning Map.
Among the contradictory policies is the 2008 RAMP’s contemplated plan for the
East Southeast Focus Area District (which contains Baymeadows Apartments)
as compared to the 2014 Land Use Plan’s treatment of that district. The 2008
RAMP calls for 3 diametrically opposed concepts for Southeast Ridgeland,
including development of a City Center Complex, a residential district of
clustered cottage style houses, and development of medium density housing.
But none of these recommendations support the 2014 decision to rezone the
area for mixed-use development, which is never contemplated in the RAMP.
The amended 2014 Generalized Future Land Use and Transportation Plan Map
and the 2014 Official Zoning Map do not substitute for revising a comprehensive
plan—especially a plan that is contradictory and obsolete in many respects.

24

B. The 2014 Zoning Ordinance
In this section, I explain the practical impact of the 2014 Zoning Ordinance and
outline the many changes introduced to zoning in Ridgeland by this Ordinance.
Brief Summary of the 2014 Zoning Ordinance
Ridgeland’s 2014 Zoning Ordinance introduced for the first time the concept of
amortization of high value residential and commercial structures, giving the City
the power to eliminate non-conforming uses without compensation at its
discretion.
The Board of Aldermen adopted an amended Zoning Ordinance48 and Zoning
Map49 on February 4, 2014 without significant discussion or debate.50 There is
no evidence of public outreach or community participation in the decision. The
City made no effort to consult the community about the proposed changes.
Rather than updating its Comprehensive Plan to reflect the sweeping zoning
changes that Ridgeland wanted to make, the City merely revised its 2014 Land
Use Map. Ridgeland claimed that it based the 2014 Zoning Ordinance on the
2008 RAMP and the 2009 Comprehensive Plan, and these documents were left
intact.
The City held a public hearing before adopting the 2014 Zoning Ordinance, but
only one person who worked for a developer spoke at this meeting.51 There was
no effort made to directly notify affected apartment owners or apartment tenants
of the impending zoning change. 52
Indeed, BBC was unaware that
Baymeadows would be rezoned on February 4, 2014. In fact, it did not learn of
the change until March 4, 2014, weeks after it went into effect.53 Owners for
other apartment complexes impacted by the 2014 Zoning Ordinance likewise
were not notified and thus none attended the public hearing regarding the zoning
change.54
The 2014 Zoning Ordinance and Map changed the zoning designation for
Baymeadows from R-5 (high density residential use) to MU-1, which permits

48

Ridgeland-BM-00940,2014 Official Zoning Ordinance.
Ridgeland-BM-01159, 2014 Official Zoning Map
50
Ridgeland-BM-00926 - 929, 2/4/14 Meeting of the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen
51
Section 11 and Class A Hearing Tr., Ex. 33, Minutes of Meeting of the Mayor and the Board of
Aldermen, Jan 21, 2014, at 1.
52
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 277.
53
8/25/15 30(b)(6) Deposition of David Rotenberg (hereinafter “Rotenberg Dep.”) at 167-168
54
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 260-61.
49

25

mixed-use development. It also for the first time refused to grandfather existing
non-conformities and instead subjects them to removal after a calculated time
period. As has been noted, Baymeadows was built in 1975 and has existed as
a legal non-conforming structure since 1980 when the City annexed it,
Although its density, at 18.3 units an acre, exceeded the maximum density
permitted by the City after it was annexed, Baymeadows was allowed to operate
as built and was not challenged by the City until after the passage of the 2014
Zoning Ordinance. This is true even though the 2001 zoning ordinance had
imposed a maximum density of 10 units per acre on multi-family residential
buildings. In fact, Ridgeland’s City Planner, Matthew Dodd, testified that, apart
from use-abandonment provisions in the 2001 Ordinance, no actions were taken
to enforce the 10-unit-per-acre density requirements on properties that predated
that Ordinance. 55 The 2001 Ordinance contains the following provision in
Section 40:
To avoid undue hardship, nothing in this Ordinance shall be
deemed to require a change of plans, construction, or designated
use of any building on which ACTUAL CONSTRUCTION WAS
LAWFULLY INITIATED PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF
ADOPTION OR AMENDMENT OF THIS ORDINANCE and upon
which actual building construction has been carried on diligently.56
The Ordinance states that Ridgeland would not encourage the survival of nonconforming uses but would allow them to exist until they are removed.57 In
other words, Baymeadows’ density was grandfathered in until February 2014, as
were other non-conforming uses that predated the 2001 Ordinance.
MU-1 zoning allows both traditional general commercial development and mixed
commercial and residential buildings, which it calls “vertical mixed-use buildings”
of up to four stories. Vertical mixed-use is defined as two or more different uses
occupying the same building usually on different floors.58 As previously noted,
the 2009 Comprehensive Plan defines mixed-use districts as “areas which are
suitable for high quality, high density development.”59

55

Dodd Dep. at 377-378.
Ridgeland-BM-00395, 2001 Zoning Ordinance, at Ridgeland-BM-00438.
57
Id..
58
Ridgeland-BM-00940, 2014 Official Zoning Ordinance at Ridgeland-BM-01053.
59
Ridgeland-BM-00095, 2009 Comprehensive Plan, at Ridgeland-BM-00144.
56

26

The mixed-use zoning imposed on East Southeast Ridgeland by the 2014
Zoning Ordinance is in direct conflict with both the cottage cluster concept
recommended by the 2008 RAMP and the Residential TND concept
recommended by the 2009 Land Use Map. The text of the 2008 RAMP clearly
states that cottage clusters are not compatible with higher, bulkier structures. 60
Neither the cottage cluster concept endorsed by RAMP nor the Residential TND
district recommended on the 2009 Land Use Map advocate mixing residential
and commercial uses.

A rendering of the Township at Colony Park Mixed-Use Development in Northwest Ridgeland
showing commercial and vertical mixed-use buildings with ground floor commercial units and
residential units on upper floors.

The above rendering shows the concept for development of the Township at
Colony Park, a mixed-use development in Northwest Ridgeland. This contrasts
with the images of the cottage cluster concept presented on p.13 and the
Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) example on p. 21-23 of this
report.
Although Ridgeland’s Township development will incorporate some
Traditional Neighborhood Design principles, the TND zoning designation on the
2009 Generalized Future Land Use and Transportation Plan Map does not
authorize mixed-use development, as is discussed above.
Ridgeland’s 2014 Zoning Ordinance permits most commercial uses, including
retail, restaurant, office, medical, personal and business services, and sports
and recreational uses. Industrial uses are not permitted. Single-family houses,
townhouses, and zero lot residential uses are permitted in Ridgeland’s mixeduse districts as conditional uses.

60

Ridgeland-BM-01357, RAMP, at Ridgeland-BM-01397.

27

In Ridgeland’s MU-1 districts, multi-family units are permitted only in buildings
with commercial units on the ground floor. 100% residential multi-family
buildings are prohibited in areas with this designation. The 2014 Ordinance
provides no explanation for why multi-family uses without ground-floor
commercial space are not allowed in MU-1 zones where many other residential
and commercial uses are. My experience has shown that single-use multifamily buildings are critical to building the densities needed to support
successful mixed-use districts. It is difficult to understand how single-use multifamily uses would conflict with either the vertical mixed-use or commercial
buildings allowed by the mixed-use zoning.
I have compared Ridgeland’s prohibition of 100% multi-family buildings in mixeduse zoning districts with other cities in the Jackson metropolitan area and with
the policies of Mississippi’s largest cities. The results are summarized in the
Table below.

Mississippi  Cities  Permitting  Multi-­‐Family  Buildings  in  
Mixed  Use  Zones  

 Jackson    
Canton  
Brandon  
Gulfport  
Hattiesburg  
Greenville  
Ridgeland  

Permit  100%  Multi-­‐
Family  in  Mixed-­‐Use  
Zones?  
Yes  
Yes  
Yes  
Yes  
Yes  
Yes  
No  

Permit  Mixed-­‐Use  
Zones?  
Yes  
Yes  
Yes  
Yes  
Yes  
Yes  
Yes  

Sources:    Municipal  Zoning  Codes.  

 
Jackson permits 100% residential multi-family buildings in its Neighborhood
Mixed Use Districts, Community Mixed Use Districts, and Urban Village Mixed
Use Districts. Canton and Brandon are the only other cities (of which I am
aware) in the Jackson MSA that authorize mixed-use districts in their zoning
ordinances. Canton permits all types of residential development, including multifamily buildings, in its Mixed Residential Commercial zones, and Brandon
permits multi-family buildings in mixed-use zones as well. Among Mississippi’s
ten largest cities (outside of the Jackson MSA), mixed-use districts are

28

authorized by zoning only in Gulfport, Hattiesburg, and Greenville. All of these
cities permit 100% residential multi-family buildings in their mixed-use districts.
As one can see, by prohibiting 100% residential multi-family development in a
mixed-use district, Ridgeland is out of line with other municipalities in the State
that authorize mixed-use districts.
Analysis of Ordinance Using Professional Planning Concepts
The American Planning Association (“APA”) is a professional organization
representing over 40,000 professionals in the field of city and regional planning
in the United States. Founded in 1909, the mission of the organization is to
advance the art and science of planning—physical, economic, and social—at
the local, regional, national, and international levels. The APA provides
recognized national leadership in the certification of professional planners and in
establishing standards of planning practice and legislation.
The APA’s main function is to serve as a national forum for the exchange of
ideas between people who work in the field of urban and regional planning. The
APA also educates policymakers on planning issues and advocates the
incorporation of best practices in planning to all levels of government. The
organization provides leadership in the development of vital communities by
advocating excellence in planning, promoting citizen empowerment, and by
providing the tools and support needed to meet the challenges of growth and
change. To encourage best practices in planning and zoning, the APA produces
model zoning legislation. Local planning authorities commonly consult the
APA’s model zoning ordinance in the process of developing land use laws.
The APA’s model zoning ordinance advocates the development of 100% multifamily residential buildings in mixed-use zoning districts. 61
By contrast,
Ridgeland’s 2014 Zoning Ordinance prohibits 100% multi-family residential
buildings in mixed-use zones. In over 35 years of reviewing local zoning
ordinances, I have never encountered a mixed-use district that forbids multifamily rental units. Instead, it is my experience that cities encourage multi-family
apartment and condominium units in their mixed-use districts. A large number
of residential units are needed to support ground floor businesses in the vertical
mixed-use buildings within the districts and to build effective internal economies
within the district.

61

American Planning Association, Model Mixed-Use Zoning District Ordinance advocates
permitting multi-unit (3 plus) residential development as a conditional use.

29

In fact, I believe that if the City genuinely wants to fill out the 144-acre site in
Southeast Ridgeland that it rezoned as a functioning mixed-use district, it will
eventually need to permit multi-family apartments and condominiums at
densities of up to 20 to 25 units an acre. It is very unlikely that the vast areas
that Ridgeland rezoned for mixed-use in 2014 could be filled out by commercial
and vertical mixed-use development. 100% residential multi-family buildings—
both apartments and condominiums—will be necessary to build densities
needed to provide both origins (homes) and destinations (workplaces, shops,
restaurants) within the district, thereby encouraging pedestrian trips and
reducing auto trips and congestion in mixed-use districts. As is discussed on
pp. 28-29, all of the other major cities in Mississippi and in the Jackson metro
area permit 100% multi-family residential structures in their mixed-use zones.
Also out of line with the APA’s model zoning ordinance and my experience with
other mixed-use zoning ordinances around the country is the absence of a floor
area ratio (“FAR”) for Ridgeland’s mixed-use districts. The FAR is the ratio of a
building's gross floor area to the size of the piece of land upon which it is built.
FARs are used as a measure of the quantity of development that is permitted at
a given site and to limit the amount of construction on a site. A higher FAR
implies a more dense use, and a lower FAR implies a less dense use. The FAR
is a fundamental component in form-based design. It permits flexibility in uses
and in unit sizes so developers can be responsive to changing market
conditions. The use of FARs can facilitate mixed-use development that
combines origins and destinations into what planners call “complete streets.”
Complete Streets is a design approach and transportation policy that requires
streets to be planned, designed, operated, and maintained to enable safe,
convenient and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities
regardless of their mode of transportation. The concept combines origins
(homes) and destinations (work, shopping, entertainment) in walkable
pedestrian and bicycle-friendly environments that reduce vehicle trips.
Complete streets allow for safe travel by those walking, bicycling, driving
automobiles, riding public transportation, and delivering goods.62
A FAR of 1.0 means that the developer is allowed to build the equivalent of a
one-story building over the entire lot, or a 2-story story building on half the lot,
leaving the balance for parking, access, and yard space. A FAR of 2.0 means
the developer is allowed to build the equivalent of a two-story building over the

62

Ritter, John (2007-07-29). "'Complete streets' program gives more room for pedestrians,
cyclists". USA Today.

30

entire lot, or a 4-story over half the lot. Proscribing a floor area ratio is essential
to controlling densities of mixed-use areas.
Walkable neighborhoods that support transit and internal economies require
FARs of 1.5 to 3.0. In order to encourage mixed-use buildings, the APA’s Model
Mixed Use Zoning Ordinance recommends FARs of 2.0 for mixed-use buildings
and 1.25 for buildings with 100% residential or 100% commercial floor space.63
Higher density allowances for mixed-use buildings are intended to encourage
developers to build mixed-use buildings in designated districts.
By contrast, Baymeadows has a FAR of 0.3. Since the development is twostories, this means that just 15% of the total site area is covered by buildings,
leaving 85% for parking, pedestrian and vehicle access, and open space. In
other words, by rezoning Baymeadows to mixed-use, applying the APA’s FAR
recommendations of a 2.0 FAR for mixed-use buildings, a replacement property
could have a FAR that almost 7 times more dense than Baymeadows, assuming
the FAR that is recommended by the APA. This implies that the rezoning to
mixed-use could, in fact, significantly increase the density of the property.
Ridgeland’s City Planner likewise acknowledged that the 2014 Ordinance
contains no maximum FAR ratio for mixed-use zones.64
In fact, Ridgeland’s mixed-use regulations impose no limits on residential
densities. Instead, they provide for case-by-case review of development
proposals. The regulations prescribe that buildings in its mixed zones be no
more than 4 stories high and that there be maximum of 1 residential unit per 750
net sq. ft. of permitted commercial use in any given mixed-use building. Lot
coverage and setbacks are subject to site plan review. I performed calculations
of potentially allowable density in Ridgeland’s mixed-use districts based on
Ridgeland’s standards and a FAR of 1.5, a conservative assumption that is well
below the 2.0 FAR recommended by the APA for mixed-use buildings. The
results are presented in the table below:

63
64

American Planning Association, Model Mixed-Use Zoning District Ordinance
Dodd Dep. at 47-48.

31

Potentially Allowable Residential Density in Mixed-Use Buildings in
Ridgeland’s MU-1 Districts
A  

Number  of  Acres  

1  

B  

Total  Sq.  Ft.    

43,560  

C  

Floor  Are  Ratio  

1.50  

  recommended  by     APA  for  MU  districts)  
FAR  (below  the  2.0  FAR  

D   Building  Size  
Maximum  No  of  
E   Stories  

65,340  

Maximum  Building  Size  

4  

Ridgeland  2014  Zoning  Ordinance  

F  

16,335  

Maximum  Sq.  Ft.  per  Story  (D/E)  

G   Efficiency  Ratio  
Net  Commercial  
H   Area  
Maximum  Res.  
Density  for  Vertical  
I   MU  

0.85  

 
Efficiency  Ratio  -­‐  Nets  out  unleasable  common  
space  

13,884  

Net  Square  feet  of  ground  floor  leasable  commercial  space  (F*G)  

750  

MU-­‐1  zoning  allows  1  Res.  Unit  for  750  sq  ft  of  Commercial    Space  

J  

18.5  

SF  per  Story  

Acre  
 

Sq.    Ft.  

 

 
 

Units  per  acre  (H/I)  
 

    A   four   story   building   with   an   FAR   of   1.5   would   cover   just  
  under   40%   of   the   site,  
Note:  
leaving  over  60%  for  parking,  access  &  open  space.    Assumes  ground  floor  offices,  20%  
open   spaces,   62   parking   spaces,   25%   shared   parking   between   commercial   and  
residential  uses.  

 
Assuming a FAR of 1.5,65 I estimate that up to 18.5 residential units per acre
could be developed in Ridgeland’s mixed-use districts. This far exceeds the
maximum of 10 units per acre permitted in Ridgeland’s highest density R-5
districts. It also exceeds Baymeadows’ density of 18.3 units per acre, which is
used by the City as the reason that it is attempting to terminate the
Baymeadows complex.66 In light of the forgoing, it appears that density is not
the actual target of the City’s redevelopment efforts but is, rather, an excuse for
removing apartments.
C. Class A Hearing And Litigation Justifications
In this section, I analyze the documents and testimony that the City has offered
subsequent to the passage of the 2014 Zoning Ordinance as explanation and
justification for the Ordinance. Typically, the City has introduced these
documents in Class A hearings, initiated by apartment complexes who have

65

The 197,069 sq. ft. Butler Snow building, which was built on a 4.5 acre lot, has an FAR of 1.5,
so this density is not unprecedented in Ridgeland.
66
Section 11 and Class A Hearing Tr.,, Ex 64, 2/5/15 Detailed Presentation by Alan Hart, at 1 as
well as numerous other documents.

32

been affected by the 2014 Zoning Ordinance and who now are applying for
status as a Class A Non-Conforming Use so as to avoid being subject to the
amortization formula outlined in Section 40 of the Ordinance. It has also
referenced such documents and concepts during depositions in this suit.
Here, I particularly focus on Alan Hart’s February 15, 2015 presentation in
opposition to BBC’s petition for the City to reconsider the rezoning of the
Baymeadows Apartments and its application for Class A status. In that hearing,
to support the City’s case against its existing apartment complexes, Alan Hart,
Ridgeland’s Director of Community Development, presented evidence based on
analysis of 42 documents. These documents include reports, maps, and
photographs spanning over half a century.
Most of the documents presented by Mr. Hart pre-date the February 2014
Zoning Ordinance by many years, many are obsolete, and many are irrelevant
because they were not considered in the rezoning decision. Others were drafted
in 2015, nearly a year after the decision was made to rezone the Baymeadows
site. The documents contain biased data, faulty analysis, and unsupported
conclusions. In fact, all of the documents referenced by Mr. Hart either come
from the 1994-2009 time frame (five to twenty years prior to the Ordinance), or
post-date the passage of the Ordinance by 11 months or more. Critically, the
City presented no documents from the five-year period leading up to the
Ordinance as contemporaneous support for its rezoning and amortization
efforts.
I divide my analysis into two Parts—Part 1 focuses on documents that were
drafted and created prior to the adoption of the 2014 Zoning Ordinance in
February 2014, while Part 2 focuses on documents that post-date the
Ordinance. I divide my analysis in this fashion because documents drafted after
the passage of the 2014 Ordinance obviously cannot serve as the initial
justification or support for that Ordinance, and thus must be distinguished from
documents that predate the Ordinance. Nonetheless, because Mr. Hart relied
on numerous documents that were created subsequent to the passage of the
2014 Ordinance, I include an analysis of these documents as well in order to
evaluate the City’s post-passage rationalizations of the zoning changes.
In reviewing these key documents for data quality and consistency, soundness
of analytical methods, and for accuracy and veracity of conclusions, I conclude
that these documents are based on biased data and faulty analysis. From them,
Mr. Hart draws conclusions that are unsupported by the data in these

33

documents. In sum, the sources upon which the City relies do not justify or
support its actions in adopting and implementing the 2014 Ordinance.
1. Documents Drafted Prior to February 2014
As discussed above, my analysis in the section is divided into two parts. This
part analyzes documents that predate that adoption of the 2014 Zoning
Ordinance.
1994 Preliminary Land Use Study, Ridgeland, MS (Exhibit 29)
Exhibit 29, the “1994 Preliminary Land Use Study,” also referred to by Ridgeland
as the “Michael Bridge Report,” was presented by Mr. Hart as evidence of the
negative impact of high-density housing. This document is not mentioned in the
Preamble to the 2014 Ordinance, and Ridgeland’s City Planner testified that he
had not read it until during the Class A hearing process conducted months after
the Ordinance was passed.67 This document typifies the outmoded thinking of
the past century regarding high-density residential development. It states:
High density multiple family housing requires greater levels of
municipal services than lower density residential properties. The
streets serving apartment complexes carry significantly more traffic
and require greater city expenditures for street maintenance. The
larger number of dwelling units in apartment complexes demand
greater fire and police protection. The sizing of utilities including
sewer, water and storm drainage are normally greater when
serving apartment developments thereby requiring not only greater
investment but greater maintenance costs over time. Existing high
density multiple family housing has contributed to significant traffic
problems within the City of Ridgeland particularly on County Line
Road and Old Canton Road north to the Natchez Trace.68
Over the past two decades, however, such reasoning has been debunked as the
efficiency benefits of high-density development have become increasingly
appreciated. Fewer auto trips occur in higher-density areas. In a neighborhood
of 15 homes per acre, one third fewer auto trips occur, compared to a standard

67

Hart, 30(b)(6) Dep. at 170; Dodd Dep. at 382-383.
Section 11 and Class A Hearing Tr., Ex. 29, Michael L. Bridge Real Estate and Planning,
Preliminary Land Use Study, Ridgeland, MS December 20, 1994.
68

34

suburban tract. 69 A study in Sacramento, by the regional Council of
Governments, found that multi-family developments have lower car ownership
rates—1.3 cars per household, as opposed to two per household in single-family
tracts.70
It is now widely recognized that compact development offers greater efficiency in
construction and maintenance of public services and infrastructure. Higherdensity residential development requires less extensive infrastructure networks
than does sprawl. When communities cannot take advantage of scale
economies in providing infrastructure, costs of extending utility lines rise. Highdensity housing helps provide scale economies in water and sewage systems.
Numerous studies indicate that compact development is more cost-efficient than
development that is spread out, often referred to as “sprawl.” To date, the costs
of sprawl vis-à-vis compact development have been studied more rigorously in
Canadian cities than in the US, but there is little reason to think that this analysis
does not apply equally to development within the United States. For instance,
the City of London, Ontario found that over a 50-year period, sprawling growth
would entail capital costs $2.7 billion higher, and operating costs about $1.7
billion higher, than for a compact growth scenario. 71 Halifax Regional
Municipality estimated the cost of services for a range of development densities.
On a per household basis, it was found that the costs of the lowest-density
development were more than three times higher than high-density urban
development.72
The costs of many key infrastructure elements are related to distances covered,
e.g., longer pipes, longer roads. Halifax Regional Municipality found it would
potentially save as much as $715 million over the next two decades by
increasing the number of new dwellings sited in the urban core from 16% to 50%
of new dwellings.73

69

The average lot size of a suburban tract is 8,750 sq.ft (about 5 units per acre). This is down
from 1976, when the average lot size was 10,125, or about 4 units per acre.
http://www.dimensionsinfo.com
70

Association of Bay Area Governments, Myths and Facts about Affordable and High Density
Housing.
71
Cited in David Thompson, Suburban Sprawl Exposing Hidden Cost, Identifying Innovations,
Sustainable Communities, Oct. 2013 at 6.
72
Id. at 5.
73
Id, p. 5.

35

The City of Calgary undertook a study of the costs of sprawl with similar
findings. It compared the capital costs of new infrastructure for existing patterns
of development against those of a denser growth pattern. The recommended
pattern, which would use 25% less land, would be 33% less expensive to
build—resulting in a savings to the City of more than $11 billion in capital costs
alone. Operating costs were also much lower for the denser growth model.
After 60 years, the savings would be $130 million per year.74
So, in contrast to Ridgeland’s assertions about the high costs of high-density
development, research has shown that density creates economies of scale that
save maintenance, time, and materials and result in operating and capital
savings for cities that can amount to billions in the long term. The 1994 Bridge
Report on which the City now builds its case after the fact is outdated and does
not reflect the current thinking of planning practitioners about cost-efficient
development.
2009 Southeast Ridgeland Project Financial Analysis (Exhibit 39)
Mr. Hart presented Exhibit 39, the 2009 Southeast Ridgeland Redevelopment
Project Analysis, as evidence of detailed study and planning for Southeast
Ridgeland. This document presents a new concept for a “Traditional
Neighborhood Development” zone for Southeast Ridgeland. It does not support
the 2014 designation of the area for mixed-use development.75
The document also includes comments made by the Jackson Association of
Realtors who were consulted in formulating the Project Financial Analysis,
including remarks like:

“Get rid of apartments.

Protective covenants are extremely important or the new
development will quickly turn into the same type
neighborhood we’re trying to get rid of.

We don’t need another ghetto.” 76

74

Id., at 6.
Ridgeland-BM-01695, 2009 Southeast Ridgeland Redevelopment Project Analysis, at
Ridgeland-BM-01696
76
Id. at Ridgeland-BM-01697
75

36

The Project Financial Analysis estimates the costs of redevelopment against the
value that could be captured by sales of lots to new residents. The gap between
costs and potential revenues was estimated at $95 million to $115 million. It
was suggested that private developers acquiring the apartments for
redevelopment could raise the revenues to finance this deficit if the City were to
relax code inspections and maintenance requirements for a time. It was
estimated that non-enforcement could save property owners up to 50% of gross
rents.77
This irresponsible proposal would not only create hardship for tenants, but it also
fails to recognize that maintenance costs are a small proportion of overall
operations and maintenance budgets, which also include insurance, taxes,
management, security, and utilities, among other things. Even Ridgeland’s
Building Official acknowledged that leniency on code enforcement would not be
a good idea.78 These statements demonstrate the insincerity of the case for
terminating Baymeadows and the surrounding complexes based on their nonconformance with density limits and permitted uses, and highlight what appear
to be the City’s true motives in advocating redevelopment of Southeast
Ridgeland, which appear to be to displace existing residents.
Ridgeland-BM-01714, Comparative Apartment Analysis
Mr. Hart presented Exhibit 41, the 2009 Comparative Apartment Analysis
conducted by the City of Ridgeland, as evidence that the Baymeadows
Apartments is a nuisance to the community.79 This analysis is dated the same
day as the Southeast Ridgeland Financial Analysis discussed above and is
referenced in that document. In April 2009, prior to the release of this document,
Mr. Hart met with the Mayor and stated: “I'm nearly complete with the apartment
evaluation that will help us make a definitive case for redevelopment and
declaring as officially blighted."80 This document was compiled entirely in-house
by the City and appears to have been engineered to support the redevelopment
plan contained in the Financial Analysis.
The Comparative Apartment Analysis conducted by Ridgeland’s municipal
departments assigned each of the City’s 18 apartment complexes a ranking

77

Id. at Ridgeland-BM-01707

78

8/12/15 Deposition of Chris Ramsey (hereinafter “Ramsey Dep.”) at 86.
Ridgeland-BM-01714, 2009 Southeast Ridgeland Comparative Analysis Summary, and
Section 11 and Class A Hearing Tr., Ex. 49, Letter from Randy Tyler, Jan 16, 2015
80
Ramsey Dep. at 60-61.
79 79

37

based on crime rates, fire risk, and “community development” criteria. Based on
this process, Baymeadows was classified as the “worst” apartment complex in
Ridgeland.
In order to assign a Police Department ranking, the Ridgeland Police
Department presented the Comparative Apartment Analysis Uniform Crime Rate
(“UCR”) statistics for Baymeadows and for the other 18 apartment complexes in
the City. This document lumps five years of crime statistics together into one
year. No attempt was made to annualize these data. This is misleading, as it
exaggerates the number of crimes and illustrates the arbitrariness of this
analysis. Based on this ranking process, the Baymeadows Apartments are
labeled as the Number 1 “Worst” apartment complex in Ridgeland.
On its website, the FBI warns against ranking of places based on UCR rates:
Many entities—news media, tourism agencies, and other groups
with an interest in crime in our Nation—use figures from the
Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program to compile rankings of
cities and counties. These rankings, however, are merely a quick
choice made by the data user; they provide no insight into the
many variables that mold the crime in a particular town, city,
county, state, region, or other jurisdiction. Consequently, these
rankings lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often
create misleading perceptions adversely affecting cities and
counties, along with their residents.81
Studies have found that crime is related not to density, but to poverty and lack of
education.82 The City has conducted no analysis of the needs of the population
of East Southeast Ridgeland, which it is trying to force out of the City.83 It has
not studied rates of poverty and education levels at Baymeadows or surrounding
apartment complexes.
Also factored into the Comparative Apartment Complex Analysis process was
the ranking of each complex by fire risk that was conducted by the Ridgeland
81

U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of investigation, Uniform Crime Reports at
http://www.ucrdatatool.gov/ranking.cfm
82

Lochner , Lance and Enrico Moretti,, The effect of Education on crime: Evidence from Prison
Inmates, Arrests, and Self Reports, October 2003 at http://eml.berkeley.edu/~moretti/lm46.pdf
83

Hart (30)(b) Dep. at 197-8; 295-296; 523-525.

38

Fire Department.
number of:





The Fire Department rated the complexes’ by tallying the

Electrical Problems
False Alarms
Outside Fires
Explosions
Smoke /Odor Reports
Structure Fires

The table below contrasts the City-assigned ranking given to each complex with
the rankings that should have been given based on the scores for each of the
criteria reflected in the five-year history. 84 It shows that the rank assigned by the
City to each complex has little or no relationship to its rank based on cumulative
scores of the criteria.

Fire  Risk  Ranking  Process  
Apartment  Complex  
Pear  Orchard  
Oakbrook  
Baymeadows  
Parc  @Ridgeland    (2)  
Northbrook  I  &  II  
Lakeshore  Landing  
Arbors  @  The  Trace  
Van  Mark  
Sunchase  
Legacy  
Pinebrook  
Lexington  
Mark  
Arbor  Trace  

Cumulative  
Scores  for  Fire  
Risk  Criteria  
22  
22  
18  
18  
16  
16  
16  
16  
15  
15  
14  
12  
9  
6  

84

Actual  Rank  
based  on   City-­‐  Assigned  
Scores  (1)  
Rank  (1)  
1  
8  
1  
2  
3  
1  
3  
4  
5  
3  
5  
6  
7  
10  
7  
14  
9  
7  
9  
16  
11  
5  
12  
15  
13  
12  
14  
13  

The methodology provided with the Fire Department’s risk analysis mentioned that
consideration was given to the presence of automatic sprinklers, the number of units in the
building, the presence of wood burning fireplaces, and the availability of fire hydrants. However
no metrics were assigned to these criteria and they were not quantified in the scoring process. It
is unclear from the ratings to what extent they were considered in the ranking process.

39

Gables  
Park  Place  
Pointe  

5  
4  
3  

15  
16  
17  

18  
9  
11  

Arbors  @  The  Reservoir  

3  

17  

17  

(1)  The  lower  the  rank,  the  higher  the  fire  risk  score.  
(2)  Parc  @  Ridgeland  has  since  been  renamed  "Ridgeland  Ranch".  
 
 
Source:    Exhibit  41,  Comparative  Apartment  Analysis,  Sept.  16,  2009  
The City ranked Baymeadows as the number one “worst” complex for fire risk.
Based on the sum of the actual criteria, however, Baymeadows was third from
the bottom of the list. For four of the five complexes that the City is seeking to
eliminate by amortization (highlighted in the table), the City-assigned rankings
that exaggerated the fire risk based on the sum of the criteria that were
purportedly used to evaluate the fire risk.
By contrast, the City ranked the upscale Pear Orchard Complex—which had the
highest number of actual fire risk indicators,-- as 8 from the bottom, indicating it
was in the middle of the list of complexes for fire risk.
In only one instance
(Arbours@Reservoir) did the City-assigned ranking reflect the Complex’s
ranking based on the actual sum of the criteria used to evaluate fire risk.
Given these many inconsistencies and unexplained disparities between the
criteria used and the final ranking, the ranking process clearly had little to do
with analysis of the stated objective criteria. It was instead used to target the
complexes that the City intended to eliminate by amortization.
The final metric the Comparative Apartment Analysis considered was a
“Community Development rank,” assigned by Ridgeland’s Building Official based
on population density, percentage of inspections passed, “perceived” number of
complaint incidents, number of years that the complex has been on probation,
and ‘general condition.’
As Ridgeland’s Building Official Chris Ramsey
confirmed during his deposition. compiling this analysis took approximately 6 to
8 hours.85 The criteria he used are vague and arbitrary and are influenced by
population density, which is over-weighted in the scoring process. Ramsey did
not remember why density was listed as the first criteria in his analysis and
could not say it would be considered if he re-performed the analysis today.86 He
85
86

Ramsey Dep. at 67.
Id. at 67-69.

40

confirmed that his “Inspection” criteria only examined a two-year period from
2007-2008 because that was all he had records for, and weighted all inspection
failures equally, irrespective of the severity of the failure.87
Baymeadows, which received the “third worst” inspection rank still passed 78%
of City inspections on the first attempt and, according to Ramsey, subsequently
rectified the failures detected and passed subsequent inspections for the 22%
that were failed on the first attempt.88 Ramsey used a different period from 20052009 in coming up with a “Probation Incident” criteria, which was based on
records he had at the time but no longer currently has. 89 His “Complaint
Incident” criteria was based on the undocumented “perception” that he and a
Ridgeland rental property inspector came up with after a discussion of their best
recollection.90 And a final “General Condition” criteria was solely based on his
“perception” after walking around and performing a visual inspection.91
The analysis explicitly recognized that Ramsey used “opinion-based logic to
make delineation when two or more complexes were closely ranked.”92 In sum,
Ramsey’s testimony confirms that this analysis was subjective and was
designed to support a pre-determined result, as reflected by Hart’s April 2009
meeting comments.
In sum, all three “rankings” utilized in the 2009 Comparative Apartment Analysis
were flawed and subjective and demonstrates that this survey was far from an
“objective analysis,”93 but instead was engineered by the City to help make its
“definitive case” for redevelopment of properties it wanted to remove.
2. Documents Drafted After February 2014
In this section, I review documents that were created after the passage of the
2014 Zoning Ordinance, but which the City has nonetheless presented in Class
A hearings as justifications for adopting the Ordinance in the first instance.
While I believe that these documents, which post-date the adoption of the
Ordinance and thus cannot form the foundation for its adoption, cannot properly
be considered in analyzing whether the Ordinance is justified, I nonetheless
87

Id. at 72-73.
Id. at 80-81.
89
Id. at 78-79.
90
Id. at 74-76.
91
Id. at 79.
92
Id. 79-80.
93
Ridgeland-BM-01714, 2009 Southeast Ridgeland Comparative Analysis Summary at
Ridgeland-BM-01715
88

41

briefly analyze them in light of the fact that the City has cited them repeatedly as
justification for its actions. I have found that the data used in these documents
is not only faulty, but also that they do not support the conclusions that
Ridgeland has drawn from them.
Crime Rates: 2015 Uniform Crime Rate Analysis (Exhibit 49)
In an attempt to illustrate that Baymeadows currently presents a nuisance to
surrounding areas, Mr. Hart cited a letter from Police Chief Randy Tyler dated
January 16, 2015. Like the 2009 analysis, this report aggregated data on police
calls to apartment complexes for a 5-year period without any attempt to
annualize the data, and thus suffers from the same flaws as the 2009 analysis.
No attempt was made to annualize these data.
The data show that 228 crimes were reported in the Baymeadows complex for
the five-year period—an average of 45 crime reports a year. This is less than
one police report a week, or 1 report for every 6 households on an annual basis.
Only 5% of these were violent crimes, with another 16% being crimes against
property. Nearly 80% of crimes were petty or minor infractions. There is no
evidence that these relatively low rates of crime created additional costs for the
City or that additional law enforcement staff is needed to cover these calls.
The table below compares Baymeadows’ crime rates with state and national
averages for 2012, the most recent year for which state and national data were
available. The rate of property crimes (which include burglary, larceny, and auto
theft) for Baymeadows, at 27.92 crimes per 1000 people, is below both state
and the national averages, which were 28.11 and 28.59 respectively. In terms of
violent crimes, Baymeadows had no reports of rapes or murders in 2012. It is
also worth noting that there were no drug-related police calls made to
Baymeadows in 2012.
Comparative  Crime  Rates    -­‐  2012  
Crimes  per  1000  population  
 
 
Baymeadows  
Mississippi  
US  Avg  

Violent  Crimes  (2)  
Rapes  
Murders  
           0  
0  
27.5  
7.4  
26.9  
4.7  

 Property  Crimes  (1)  
27.92  
28.11  
28.59  

 
(1)    Includes  burglary,  larceny,  &  auto  theft  

 
 

42

(2)  Excludes  aggravated  assault,  since  the  national  and  local  data  on  this  are  not  comparable.94  
   Assumes  Census  average  of  1.96  persons  per  household  and  10%  vacancy  rate.  
Sources:  Exhibit  39,  Ridgeland  Police  Department  Statistical  Report  and  U.  S.  Department  of  Justice,  Uniform  
Crime  reporting  Statistics  at  ucrdatatool.gov  
 

Sewage Capacity: Letter from John McCollum (Exhibit 48)
In his presentation, Mr. Hart suggested that Baymeadows Apartments should
cease operations in order to free up wastewater capacity for “new growth.” He
presented Exhibit 48, a February 13, 2015 letter from Public Works Director
John McCollum, Director of Public Works to support his contention that a
reduction in the number of housing units was needed to expand sewer capacity
for future development. Based on this letter, Mr. Hart claimed that decreasing
the volume of sewer effluent was the only realistic solution to addressing the
City’s sewer capacity problems and that other alternatives were cost-prohibitive.
Contrary to Mr. Hart’s recommendation, Mr. McCollum presented three potential
solutions to the City’s wastewater capacity system. The cost of these options
ranged from $32 to $93 million.95 These alternatives did not include demolition of
apartments to free additional capacity. Mr. McCollum said that construction of
Ridgeland’s own treatment facility would be cost-prohibitive. He did not say that
any of the three alternatives for increasing capacity (none of which involve
construction of a new treatment facility) would be cost-prohibitive.
As in BBC’s hearing, Mr. Hart also made these assertions during the Gables
hearing. 96
However, as noted by Donovan Scruggs, a city planner who
represented the Gables, the City’s 2013 Waste Water Facilities Plan says that
the City capacity issues are due to infiltration of ground water into the sewage
system and that reducing the number of apartments would not solve this
problem.97
Finally, it should be noted that even if what Mr. Hart said were true, which it is
not, then the City’s position is not that current sewer capacity is insufficient.

94

Aggravated and simple assaults for domestic violence reports are combined for Baymeadows.
State and national UCR data on violent crimes exclude simple assaults.
95
Section 11 and Class A Hearing Tr.,, Ex. 48, Letter from John McCollum, Public Works
Director, City of Ridgeland.
96
9/16/14; 10/7/14 Public Hearing of the Gables Class A Petition, Transcript of
Proceedings,(hereinafter “Gables Hearing Tr.”). at 7.
97
Id. at 36 and 46-47.

43

Rather, it is that capacity for future, additional, development is insufficient at this
time. According to the 2008 RAMP:
Ridgeland currently has a cooperative agreement with the City of
Jackson to manage sewerage treatment. While capacity does not
seem to be an issue right now, it could become a key limitation
depending on the overall stability of Jackson.98
The City has offered no study or analysis to show why apartments, as opposed
to other uses, should bear the burden of freeing up capacity for future
development. In fact, I understand that Ridgeland is currently attempting to
annex parcels to the West of the City limits, which would further burden its
sewage capacity. The City has produced no analysis or study to substantiate
Mr. Hart’s allegation that eliminating existing apartments would, indeed, free up
sewer capacity for future development or to show that the proposed annexation
and future development would not constrain sewage capacity less than the
presently existing apartments.
Traffic Impacts: Letter from Christopher Bryson (Exhibit 51)
Exhibit 51, a January 16, 2015 letter from City Engineer Christopher Bryson,
was presented to demonstrate that apartments in Southeast Ridgeland are
contributing to traffic congestion on Old Canton Road. 99 The Level of Service
here currently ranks as “D,” which means that delays of 35-55 seconds are
common at signalized intersections.
At Level of Service D (“LOS D”), roads are not congested. According to the
Transportation Research Board’s Highway Capacity Manual, LOS D is a
common goal for urban streets during peak hours, as attaining LOS C can
require prohibitive cost and societal impact in bypass roads and lane
additions.100 In fact, the 2012 Transportation Plan Update for Ridgeland refers
to LOS D or lower as acceptable. In this document, both Old Canton Road and
County Line Road are listed as operating under acceptable conditions.101
Further, Bryson’s analysis neglects to discuss the effect of increased traffic from
whatever is developed in place of Baymeadows on Pine Knoll Drive, the street
98

Ridgeland-BM-01357, RAMP, at Ridgeland-BM-01375.
Section 11 and Class A Hearing Tr.,, Ex. 51, Letter from Christopher Bryson, City Engineer re.
Old Canton LOS, Jan 16, 2015.
100
TRB, Highway Capacity Manual, cited at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_service
101
Section 11 and Class A Hearing Tr., Ex. 3, City of Ridgeland Transportation Plan Update,
October 2012, at 21
99

44

on which the complex is located. Despite Ridgeland’s Comprehensive Plan
calling for mixed-use zoning on principal arterials, by Ridgeland’s own admission
Pine Knoll Drive is not a principal arterial.102 No study has been done by
Ridgeland regarding how this road will handle additional traffic created by
changing use of the land on either side of it from apartments to mixed-use with
commercial space.
Moreover, according to Central Mississippi Planning and Development District
(CMPDD), 2014 traffic counts on Old Canton Rd. and Lincolnshire Blvd.
averaged 20,000 vehicle trips per day, down from 25,000 in 2012.103 Average
Daily Traffic is expected to continue to decline at this location, averaging about
14,000 by 2025.104 The facts therefore do not support the City’s contention that
its actions were taken to resolve a traffic problem at this location.
The City’s actions in other contemporaneous matters further indicate that its
traffic rationale is disingenuous. When it approved the 13-story Butler Snow
building in the Renaissance at Colony Park Shopping Center, the City seems to
have disregarded the concerns of residents about traffic congestion. This
development was projected to add 2000-4000 more vehicle trips a day to an
already-congested area where a major shopping center was under
construction.105 According to CMPDD, average daily traffic counts on Highland
Colony Parkway between Old Agency Road and Steed Road totaled 13,000 in
2014, up from 6300 in 2004.106
More recently, Ridgeland created a zoning exception to C-2 zoning under its
2014 Ordinance to allow for construction of big-box stores given interest
expressed by Costco in building a store under Phase 3 of Highland Colony Park
development. Again, citizens have raised increased traffic from this move as a
concern. Over 3000 signatures were collected on a petition opposing this
development. The City is therefore apparently unconcerned with traffic
congestion in cases where a major commercial development in a prime location

102

Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 158
Central Mississippi Planning and Development District, Traffic Counts at
http://gis.cmpdd.org/TC2015/
104
Id.
105
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23322 - Ridgeland-BM-14973-23326, 8/23/2007 Letter from Collette
Mclntyre to Katherine Youngblood. The developer’s projections were for 1000-2000 additional
cars, which translates to 2000 to 4000 trips to and from the building.
106
MDOT 2014 Traffic Counts at http://www.ridgelandms.org/wp-content/uploads/HighlandColony-Parkway-Traffic-Counts.pdf p. 2
103

45

is proposed, even as it suggests that traffic congestion is a good enough reason
to eliminate a significant number of housing units.
Housing Values: Report from Tax Assessor (Exhibit 60)
Mr. Hart presented Exhibit 60, a report from the Madison County Tax Assessor,
which he claimed shows that there has been a significant decline in real estate
values in the four single-family neighborhoods that surround Baymeadows.
However, the cover letter attached to the report actually implies that assessed
values within these four neighborhoods increased from 2012 to 2015.107
So, instead of presenting the comprehensive data on increasing assessed
values, the Assessor provided data on changes in average sales prices of
homes in the four surrounding neighborhoods—Hawthorne Green, Country Club
Woods, Village Glen, and Village Square. These data span a 9-year period from
2004 to 2013.
These are small neighborhoods, and in most cases, the data showed only a few
sales for each year.
Nine years of data were analyzed for the four
neighborhoods, and in many cases, there were no sales in some of these small
neighborhoods. In half of the years analyzed, the annual sales data showed
that sales prices had actually increased in the four neighborhoods. The data
show no clear trend either up or down. For most years and neighborhoods,
there are an inadequate number of cases from which to draw conclusions. The
data certainly do not illustrate “a significant decline in surrounding real estate
values,” as was alleged by Mr. Hart.
In his deposition, Mr. Hart admitted that there have been no studies of the
impact of the complexes on surrounding home values and that there was no
evidence that the apartments have a negative effect on East Southeast
Ridgeland. 108 He confirmed that the City had conducted no analysis of the
impact of apartments on surrounding uses.109 Ridgeland’s City Planner likewise
stated that he “did not know” whether Baymeadows is out of character with the
neighborhood in which it is presently situated and that he did not believe that

107

Section 11 and Class A Hearing Tr., Ex. 60, Letter from Gerald R. Barber, Tax Assessor,
Madison County (undated). Additionally, it should be noted here that while assessed tax value
does not constitute the market value of a property, assessed values do tend to correlate with
market value insofar as they trend upward when market values increase and trend lower when
market values decrease.
108
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 108-109.
109
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep.at 200 & 245-246.

46

apartments are a nuisance.110 Ridgeland’s Building Inspector confirmed that he
did not view Southeast Ridgeland to be a blighted area.111

Aerial photo showing the proximity of Bay Meadows Apartments to Montrose Woods and
LaRoche Court, where homes ranging from $425,000 to $1.5 million have been developed within
the last decade. The two are about 0.5 mile apart, as the crow flies.

Not only have the apartments had no discernible impact on abutting singlefamily neighborhoods, but also, over the past decade, two of the City’s most
expensive neighborhoods have been developed within 0.5 mile of Baymeadows.
These include the 8,000 to 11,000 sq. ft. houses in the gated Montrose Woods
development valued at up to $1.5 million. Abutting Montrose Woods is La
Roche Court, where townhouses of 4,000 to 5,500 sq. ft. range from $425,000 to
$650,000. The fact that high property value neighborhoods have been built in
close proximity to the rezoned apartments seriously undermines the City’s
assertion of negative impact on property values.

110
111

Dodd Dep. at 60.
Ramsey Dep. at 346.

47

Aerial photo with housing values showing the proximity of Montrose Woods (where housing
values range from $825,000 up to $1.5 million) to Hawthorne Green to the north and Country
Club Woods to the west, where housing values are in the low $100’s. The City alleges that
Baymeadows is negatively impacting values in these neighborhoods and discouraging
investment.. Clearly, this is not the case.

Source: www.homes.com

48

Aerial photo illustrating how the backyard of the $1.3 million house at 923 Montrose Woods
abuts those of working class homes on Hawthorne Green and William Blvd.

Source: www.homes.com

Report Responding
Reconsideration

to

Baymeadows’

Application

for

Zoning

In order to defend the rezoning of Baymeadows at the public hearing of
February 17, 2015, Mr. Hart cites a February 2015 report by Bridge & Watson
Engineers. 112 Over half of this report is devoted to arguing that the 2014
rezoning of Baymeadows is consistent with Ridgeland’s “Comprehensive Plan,”
which Mr. Watson apparently believes is wholly contained in the 2014
Generalized Future Land Use and Transportation Plan Map.
As has been
discussed, an amended Land Use Map was approved, but in my opinion, a
revised Map does not constitute a bona fide amendment to the 2009
Comprehensive Plan that would support the rezoning of Baymeadows to mixeduse development. My opinion is based both on my experience with what is
required in a valid comprehensive plan, and is further informed by the
requirements outlined in the Mississippi Code.

112

Section 11 and Class A Hearing Tr., Ex. 59, Bridge and Watson, “Report Responding to
Baymeadows’ Application for Zoning Reconsideration”, Feb. 2015.

49

Mr. Watson also claims that amortization is a “modern” way to terminate nonconforming uses. He quotes a 1986 source to support his contention that “local
governments have recently turned to amortization to eliminate nonconforming
uses.” 113 But in fact, amortization was used most extensively from about 1940
to 1980. Due to the limited success of the tool and its general unpopularity,
amortization is rarely used today. And notably, even in instances where
amortization has been pursued it has been historically used to eliminate garish
signs with relatively low value and adult entertainment uses, which pose genuine
nuisances to surrounding areas, not to remove people’s homes.
While Section VII below contains a more detailed discussion of amortization, for
purposes of this section it is sufficient to note that Mr. Watson’s assertion that
Ridgeland’s Comprehensive Plan supports amortization is incorrect.
Amortization is not mentioned in the Comprehensive Plan, which is required by
state law to be the basis for all zoning decisions.
Mr. Watson’s report claims that Ridgeland’s approach to amortization is
consistent with the APA’s model legislation. Watson specifically states:
Ridgeland's more modem and effective approach to the treatment
of non-conformities is very much consistent with the American
Planning Association's published model zoning ordinance as well
as other authoritative publications of APA.114
This is not true. The APA’s Model Legislative Guidebook advocates the use of
amortization for termination of only signs and billboards. The Guidebook
recommends that a local comprehensive plan with specific policies regarding
amortization must be in place before a city is authorized to amortize nonconforming uses. The model legislation contains the following requirement:
Comprehensive Plan Requirement. A local government may not
adopt a provision for amortization unless it first adopts a local
comprehensive plan pursuant to this Act, and the amortization of
nonconforming land uses, structures, and/or signs implements an
express policy contained in the plan. An amortization provision

113

Section 11 and Class A Hearing Tr., Ex. 59, A Report Responsive to the Application by BBC
Baymeadows, LLC Seeking Reconsideration and Class A Nonconformity Status, Feb. 17, 2015,
p.10 and 11.
114
Id.at 10.

50

adopted in the absence of a local comprehensive plan and
amortization policy is void.115
The APA model statute further requires that the non-conformity being terminated
be incompatible with surrounding uses. The model statute also recommends
that a temporarily discontinued non-conforming use not be forced to close if the
disruption in operations is not the fault of the owner.
Ridgeland’s Zoning Ordinance providing for amortization of non-conforming uses
does not comply with the APA’s policy guidelines, as is claimed in the Watson
Report, not only because Ridgeland is applying it to high value structures, but
also on a number of other grounds. First, the City’s 2009 Comprehensive Plan
does not authorize the amortization program set out in the 2014 Zoning
Ordinance. Second, the Baymeadows Apartments are not out of character with
the surrounding multi-family neighborhood where it has been established for four
decades. Third, there is no evidence that the complex has had a negative
impact on single-family neighborhoods in the vicinity.
Finally, my understanding from counsel is that the City, not the owner, has
caused the closure of five buildings at the Baymeadows complex. APA’s
guidelines on amortizing non-conforming uses clearly state that, if a building is
closed through no fault of the owner, this should not provide a basis for
termination of the use. Mr. Watson’s assertion that the Ridgeland Ordinance
complies with model amortization provisions, therefore, is incorrect.116 In fact,
Ridgeland’s City Planner confirmed that Ridgeland’s Comprehensive Plan

115

Stuart Meck, Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook, 2002, at 8-126 (emphasis added)
APA’s model amortization legislation is based on the American Law Institute’s (“ALI”) Model
Land Development Code. The ALI Code authorizes local governments to require the
discontinuation of non-conformities only if the use is inconsistent with the local comprehensive
plans and is out of character with the surrounding uses. The ALI’s Model Code further stipulates
that, if a development similar to the use being discontinued could be undertaken in the same
area, the local government cannot propose discontinuance. Ridgeland’s ordinance does not
comply with the basic standards outlined in American Law Institute’s Model Code. As has been
discussed (see p. 28-29), 100% residential multi-family buildings are prohibited in Ridgeland’s
MU-1 district. However, my experience has shown that dedicated multi-family residential
buildings are critical to building the densities needed to support successful mixed-use districts.
The City allows multi-family units only in vertical mixed-use buildings with commercial units on
the ground floor. It is difficult to understand how single-use multi-family buildings would conflict
with either the vertical mixed-use or commercial buildings allowed by the mixed-use zoning. If
the City genuinely wants to fill out the 144-acre site as a functional mixed-use district, it will
eventually be necessary to permit multifamily apartments and condominiums at densities of up to
20 to 25 units an acre.
116

51

contains no amortization policy and that he had never read the APA Model
Ordinance on amortization.117
D. Conclusions
This review of the seminal documents upon which the City of Ridgeland has built
its case against Baymeadows shows that there is little or no internal consistency
either within or among these documents. The documents are contradictory in
their recommendations for land use in the proposed redevelopment area
surrounding the Baymeadows Apartments. The data used by the City to support
termination of the Baymeadows Apartments are faulty and do not support the
conclusions that the termination of Baymeadows as a non-conforming use is in
the general public interest. There has been no bona fide redevelopment plan for
the Baymeadows site as is required by the City’s 2009 Comprehensive Plan.
No redevelopment authority was created for the Southeast Ridgeland focus area
as was stipulated by the 2009 Comprehensive Plan. There has not been a valid
amendment to the City’s Comprehensive Plan since 2009.
The planning process for the redevelopment of Southeast Ridgeland did not
include low-income apartment residents who would be most profoundly affected
by the plan. The approach to planning for the Southeast Ridgeland Focus Area
has been ad hoc and piecemeal. There is no clear, overarching vision for a
development grounded in real market feasibility. The planning documents
reviewed that led to the 2014 Ordinance did not support the rezoning of
Baymeadows to mixed-use or the amortization of non-conforming uses.
The City’s primary excuse for terminating Baymeadows has been its density of
18.3 units an acre, which exceeds the City maximum limit of 10 units per acre
which was imposed following Baymeadows’ construction and annexation by the
City. I have found, however, that the new MU-1 Zoning District could permit
residential development at up to 18.5 units an acre. For these reasons, as well
as those fully discussed above, I regard the City’s actions in rezoning the
Baymeadows site as arbitrary and unreasonable and its alleged reasons
pretextual.
VI.

THE PROCESS FOR ENACTING THE 2014 ZONING ORDINANCE:
ANALYSIS AND OPINIONS

In this section, I opine on the quality of the process by which Ridgeland adopted
the 2014 Ordinance. I first review certain of the documents referenced in the
117

Dodd Dep. 67-74.

52

2014 Ordinance’s Preamble as the basis for that Ordinance, as the City has
repeatedly emphasized that the recommendations in these documents were the
result of a valid public process.118 I conclude that the planning process used to
develop these documents was unrepresentative and deviates from good
practice. Next, I examine the City’s process for passing the 2014 Ordinance and
explain how that process was likewise characterized by lack of public discourse
and participation.
A. Analysis of Documents “Effectuated By” 2014 Zoning Ordinance
1. The 2008 RAMP
Recall that Ridgeland has claimed, both in the Preamble to the 2014 Zoning
Ordinance and in subsequent Class A hearings, that it relied on the 2008 RAMP
in drafting the 2014 Zoning Ordinance. Because of this fact, I analyzed whether
the 2008 RAMP was created and drafted using a fair and unbiased process that
reflects adequately the needs and concerns of the community. From my review
of the process used to create the RAMP, I conclude that no such fair process
occurred.
The RAMP was released in January 2008. The stated goal of the plan, as
summarized in a letter from the Mayor’s Office, was to keep Ridgeland
competitive with surrounding cities and to ensure that the City “continues to grow
in a way that enhances the quality and character of the community.”119
Preconceived Outcome
The Director of Community Development, Alan Hart, recommended retaining the
Moore Planning Group, a firm of planning consultants based in Louisiana for
which Mr. Hart worked for several years, to lead the RAMP planning process.120
Shortly after their retention, Ridgeland also retained as its City Planner, Matthew
Dodd, another Moore alumnus and landscape architect with no licensing,
certification, or specific training in city planning.121
In a letter to the Mayor recommending the retention of Moore Planning Group,
Alan Hart stated, "The Master Plan we get from Moore Planning Group will be
full of opportunities for which I would like to use to help Ridgeland move toward

118

Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 45, 53, 279.
Ridgeland-BM-01357, RAMP at Ridgeland-BM-01358
120
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 28, 39-41.
121
Dodd Dep. at 16-25.
119

53

our collective vision and goals.”122 He further stated that, with Moore Group,
"You can be guaranteed that I will know what we are getting.”123 This suggests
that there was a preconceived outcome of the planning process and that the
process was neither open nor unbiased. The preconceived outcome of this
process was also evident in a set of notes documenting an April 2009 meeting
between Mr. Hart and Mayor McGee. In these notes, Mr. Hart says that I'm
nearly complete with the apartment evaluation that will help us make a definitive
case for redevelopment and declaring as officially blighted."124
Mr. Hart considered the RAMP as a weapon to advance the City’s political
agenda rather than as a tool to gather information about public needs and
priorities to develop policies and projects to meet these needs and address
these priorities. Hart wrote, “We will be able to use the Master Plan as our
sword and shield, while moving the community forward. In other words, we can
use the Master Plan to go on the attack to make something happen or go on the
defensive to block something unwanted."125
Led By Non-Representative Groups
The Master Plan Steering Committee (“MPSC”) was charged with guiding the
planning process, 126 with significant input from Ridgeland’s Community
Awareness Committee (“CAC”), a group appointed by the Mayor and Aldermen,
which had been created by ordinance in October 2004.127 Several members of
the CAC also served on the MPSC, and there was significant coordination
between the two groups during the process of developing the RAMP.128 The
ordinance creating the CAC declared that the purpose of the group was to help
establish long-range goals and projects for Ridgeland and that the Committee
was “a conduit of information to and from the mayor and the Board of
Aldermen.”129 Both the MPSC and the CAC were entirely white,130 despite the
fact that roughly 40% of Ridgeland’s citizens are non-white.

122

Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 40-42.
Id.
124
Ramsey Dep. at 60-61.
125
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 42-43.
126
Id. at 44-45.
127
Id. at 312-315.
128
Id.
129
Ridgeland-BM-09929, Notes from the CAC Meeting, Oct. 30, 2004.
130
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 49, 66; Dodd Dep. at 317.
123

54

During MPSC and CAC meetings, concern was repeatedly expressed about the
“changing demographics”131 at Ridgeland area schools, including the Ann Smith
Elementary School, which serves the Baymeadows Apartments. Enrollment at
the Ann Smith Elementary School is currently 56% African-American, 30%
White, 8% Latino, and 5% Asian.132 Graphics were presented on the increasing
number of minority students and the decline in the number of white students.133
It was acknowledged during these meetings that the test scores from
Ridgeland’s schools indicated good scholastic performance. Regardless,
concerns were repeatedly voiced about “the image of the demographics of the
schools” 134 and perceptions that the “schools were going down.” 135 Meeting
minutes emphasized the “continuous dropping off of the white demographic for
the last 10 years,” and discussed opportunities to “change this fact.”136 Charts
were presented detailing the increase in the proportion of minority students, and
data were presented to the effect that the minority enrollment was increasing at
an average annual rate of 4%.137
The “influx of apartments” was blamed for the declining number of white
students in the schools.138 The development of more “affordable housing”—
defined in the minutes as “$200,000-range housing”—was proposed as a
possible solution to stem this trend. 139 It was noted that in Clinton, just
southwest of Ridgeland, where a large number of new houses in the $175,000$185,000 price range have been developed, the growth of the minority student
population had decelerated to 1% a year. In Gluckstadt, to the north, the
development of new single-family houses in this same price range is said to
have supported a mix of 70% white 30% black students.140
Exhibiting the same callousness toward other racial groups, members of the
CAC referred to Asian and Latino students as “the other demographic.”141 The
131

Ridgeland-BM-10147-10148, notes from the CAC Meeting, Feb 23, 2009; Ridgeland-BM10157, noes from the CAC meeting July 27, 2009.
132
Great Schools http://www.greatschools.org/mississippi/ridgeland/602-Ann-Smith-ElementarySchool/details/
133
Ridgeland-BM-10151, Notes from the CAC Meeting July 20, 2009.
134
Ridgeland-BM-10147-10148, Notes from the CAC Meeting Feb. 23, 2009.
135
Id.
136
Id.
137
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 354
138
Ridgeland-BM-10147-10148, Notes from the CAC Meeting Feb. 23, 2009.
139
Id.
140
Ridgeland-BM-10157,, Notes from the CAC Meeting, July 27, 2009.
141
Id., at Ridgeland-BM-10160

55

MPSC and CAC also repeatedly discussed the plight of Northpark Mall, a
shopping center located in Southeast Ridgeland that has seen an increase in
minority patronage, voicing a perceived community concern over “loitering” and
fears that the Northpark Mall would “go the way” of MetroCenter Mall, a mall in
Jackson surrounded by predominately African-American neighborhoods. 142
These documents show bias against minority students, an estimated 650 of
whom live in the five apartment complexes that are scheduled for termination
under the 2014 Ordinance based on the RAMP.143
A Misunderstanding of What Constitutes “Affordable Housing”
Attorneys questioned Mr. Hart, Ridgeland’s Director of Community
Development, about his concept of “affordable housing” during his deposition.
Alarmingly for a Director of Community Development, Mr. Hart stated that he did
not know the legal or statutory definition of affordable housing in Ridgeland.144
This shows an utter disregard for the needs of the City’s lower income citizens
as well as an ignorance of federal housing policy. According to HUD, housing
costing no more than 30% of a family’s income is affordable. The table below
shows HUD affordability criteria for the Jackson Metropolitan Area:

HUD  Income  Limits  for  Affordable  Housing  Eligibility  
Jackson  Metropolitan  Area  
2015  
 
 
Median  
 Family  income  for  Jackson  MSA  
Groups  Eligible  for  Affordable  Housing:  
Definition-­‐%    
Median  Income    
 
Extremely  
Low  
30%  
Very  Low  
50%  
Low  
80%  

 
$56,300    
 
 
 
Household  
Max.  Affordable    
Income  Limit  
Monthly  Rent  
$15,930  
$348  
$22,550  
$514  
$36,060  
$851  

  Maximum  affordable  rent  is  30%  of  income  after  
  deductions.    Assumes  
 
a  two  
person  household  with  annual  deductions  of  $2000..  

 

Source:  http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/il/il15/FY2015_IL_ms.pdf  

 

142

Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. At 315-317.
Assumes that 50% of the 1308 households in Class B apartments within the mixed-use
district have 1 school child.
144
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 63.
143

56

Mr. Hart, by contrast, defined “affordable housing” as homes that could be
purchased for $200,000, or as housing for “working” teachers, police officers,
and fireman. 145 Ridgeland’s City Planner, Matt Dodd, adopted a similar
definition.146 The fact that true affordable housing considerations were never
taken into account when drafting the 2008 RAMP indicates to me that the
process of developing this planning document was seriously flawed, as it did not
consider the viewpoint of a critical demographic of the Ridgeland community as
part of the planning process.
Inadequate Public Participation
During a one-week period in February-March of 2007, a series of community
“Visioning” workshops were held. The purpose of the meetings was to allow
residents and businesses an opportunity to offer their thoughts and priorities for
the RAMP. Three public workshops were conducted during the week. Two
special roundtable sessions were held for bankers and realtors.147 There is no
evidence, however, of grassroots outreach to lower income residents of
Ridgeland, a large proportion of whom would be displaced by the plan’s
recommendations. In fact, Ridgeland’s Community Development Director
admitted that he was not aware of any specific attempt to reach out to residents
of the affected rental properties.148
When the City launched its campaign to increase the rate of response to the
2010 Census, it reached out to Baymeadows Apartment Complex residents by
posting notices on apartment doors.149 However, no such outreach to apartment
dwellers was conducted to make them aware of the proposed RAMP that
contemplated removing their homes and replacing them with cottage style
housing.
In my experience, good practice calls for public participation to go beyond formal
legal requirements to engage a group of stakeholders that are representative of
the community being affected by the proposal or project in question. Federal
regulations governing funding for regional planning agencies require that special
efforts be made to involve groups traditionally underserved by planning
processes, including minority, low-income, and elderly citizens, and those
addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act. A social profile or analysis of
145

Hart (30)(b) Dep. at 334-335
Dodd Dep. at 239.
147
Ridgeland-BM-01357, RAMP at Ridgeland-BM-01385
148
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 45, 53,59, 279.
149
Ramsey Dep. at 157-167.
146

57

the groups affected by a proposal should be conducted at the onset of the
planning process. The process should be based on a thorough appreciation of
stakeholder needs. The needs and interests of marginalized groups should be
emphasized.
It is necessary to create opportunities for the full involvement of all members of
the community. Where possible, participation processes should provide material
support to stakeholders to help them get transportation to public meetings and to
gain access to documentation.
I have found in my 35 years of experience that, when participation is open to the
entire community and when no special efforts are made to reach out to lowincome and minority residents and those with special needs, in most cases
these groups will not be represented. Ridgeland’s failure to conduct such
outreach efforts reflects a flawed process.
Outreach to lower income communities is often achieved by partnering with
community-based organizations, tenants’ associations, and faith-based groups
serving the area. Notices for a plan that proposes to displace a significant
portion of the community should be posted in places where those community
members that stand to be affected by the plan will see them. Where there are
concentrations of Spanish speakers, notices should be in Spanish. If possible,
professional facilitators should be hired to run meetings.
Many planning agencies now operate mobile workshops that use vans to bring
materials to low-income neighborhoods regarding planning options and to seek
input from residents. Increasingly, planners are using social media to increase
participation by a wider audience, namely younger adults. This is a costeffective way to disseminate information to the public and to gather community
responses to proposed policy changes or new projects. Planners now
commonly use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and You Tube to engage a wider
audience in the planning process.
There is no evidence that the City of Ridgeland made efforts to reach the
residents of the apartment complexes that were threatened with displacement
by the RAMP. Special efforts, however, were made to reach out to bankers,
developers, and realtors for whom special roundtable workshops were
conducted. Best practices call for treating all stakeholders equally and with
respect. It is a challenge to practitioners to maintain a staunch independence
and equality in their perceptions of, and dealings with, all stakeholders and to
prevent developers, realtors, and bankers from dominating the planning
58

process. Clearly, Ridgeland did not follow good practice in deployment of the
RAMP public participation process.
The RAMP was initially presented to the Aldermen and to the City Department
Heads at a series of “retreats” held at different locations. No minutes were taken
at these retreats on a consistent basis.150 In May of 2009, the City conducted
two workshops to discuss proposals to develop cottage housing in East
Southeast Ridgeland. In his deposition, Alan Hart admitted that two workshops
were conducted instead of a single session to prevent there being a quorum of
Aldermen at the meeting, which would necessitate the taking of minutes and
require that the meeting be open to the public.151
At the onset of this meeting, Alan Hart announced that the proceedings were to
be held in confidentiality. During his deposition, Mr. Hart said that he was not
particularly familiar with the Mississippi Open Meetings Act, which requires that
all public business be discussed in public meetings. 152 That many of the
meetings where key policy discussions regarding the RAMP apparently took
place among community leadership in secret, private, and unrecorded meetings
is troubling, and is yet another indication that the public’s awareness of and
participation in this process was inadequate.
Public Opinion Disregarded When City Officials Have Differing View
Although Ridgeland now claims that its enactment of the 2014 Ordinance was a
means of “effectuating” the 2008 RAMP and the community opinions it
purportedly embodies, the City’s actions reveal that Ridgeland officials are
happy to disregard the recommendations of the RAMP when it suits their
interests, even when the community is strongly opposed to such action. For
instance, the same disregard for public opinion was evident in the City’s 2007
decision to approve the construction of the 13-story Butler Snow building in the
Renaissance at Colony Park, despite RAMP prohibitions and zoning ordinance
restrictions forbidding this kind of development. The 2001 Zoning Ordinance,
which was then in effect, had specified a maximum height limit of 48 feet, or four
stories, for commercial buildings in the City. Residents of surrounding
neighborhoods, concerned with not only the out-of-scale appearance of the

150

Hart, 30(b)(6) Dep. at 70-74.
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 341.
152
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 333.
151

59

building, but also its impact on traffic and property values in the area, organized
to oppose the plan. 153
Despite numerous emails, meetings, and a petition signed by nearly 1000
nearby residents, the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen approved the issuance
of conditional use permits and variances enabling construction of the structure.
Residents tried to negotiate with the developer and indicated that they would
support an 8-story structure, which is double the limit imposed by the 2001
Zoning Ordinance then in effect. In an email sent around that time, Community
Development Director Hart acknowledged that no vertical analysis study had
been performed, but noted Ridgeland’s relationship with the developer as a
reason to vote for the building.154
Nonetheless, the City welcomed the high-rise office tower as part of its strategy
to eclipse Jackson as the “economic power center of the state.” 155 Local
legislators feared that to refuse developers the necessary zoning concessions
would send a negative message to potential investors that would impede
Ridgeland’s economic development ambitions. 156 Ridgeland's own RAMP,
which was under development at the time of the controversy, recognizes
Jackson's importance as the metro core, stating “the health of the Jackson
community is of vital concern to Ridgeland since deterioration in that community
will have ripple effects in Ridgeland.”157
In a letter to the project’s opponents, 5th Ward Alderman Scott Jones stated that,
in fact, the City has never “turned down any development of high and certain
quality that has come to us,” 158 indicating a complete disregard for the planning
documents that Ridgeland is now using to justify amortization of low income
housing. In another letter from Alan Hart, Community Development Director, to
Gene McGee, Ridgeland’s Mayor, Mr. Hart stated that Mr. McGee is “perfectly
capable of making quality decisions without input from citizens who typically

153

Ridgeland-BM-14973-23233 - Ridgeland-BM-14973-23234, Email from Belinda Boozer to
Mayor Eugene McGee, Sept. 28, 2001; Ridgeland-BM-14973-23215, Email from Susan Haltom
to Mayor McGee Oct. 11, 2007; Ridgeland-BM-14973-23332 - Ridgeland-BM-14973-23336,
Email from Collette McIntyre to Katherine Youngblood, Aug. 22, 2007.
154
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23377 - Ridgeland-BM-14973-23379.
155
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23285, Email from Alderman Scott Jones to Deryll Stegall, et al,
September 1, 2007.
156
Id. at Ridgeland-BM-14973-23290.
157
Ridgeland-BM-01357, RAMP at Ridgeland-BM-01362; Ridgeland-BM-01370
158
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23290.

60

have limited knowledge about the whole dynamics of the issue.” 159 This
indicates a disregard for the public input process that would not be expected
from a Director of Community Development.
Other letters from neighborhood residents complained that the building was not
in harmony with the RAMP and stated that, during the RAMP planning process
“there was no indication of a 17-story development being planned, although
obviously some city officials must have known about it. Such development is
incompatible with the new goals developed with significant public input—all the
more reason to oppose this out-of-place building.” 160
In a letter to the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen regarding the decision to
approve the development, Susan Haltom, Chairman of the MPSC, stated that:
If Ridgeland aspires to be a progressive city that values the input
of its citizens, then we must be informed well in advance of
substantive or unusual changes. Some of you stated that last
night's decision was the most important one you have faced, and
yet your decisions were already well underway before the
community even knew about this proposal. In a progressive city,
the traffic impact study would have been available for public
comment weeks before decision-making time, as would the
position paper from the Director of Community Development. The
whole process appeared sloppy and biased.161
In short, in 2007 Ridgeland officials proved willing to disregard the RAMP and
the “community vision” that went into developing this document when it suited
the interests and ambitions of City leaders, despite the fact that the City’s
Comprehensive Plan prohibited the scale of development that was permitted.
This demonstrates that Ridgeland officials are happy to point to the importance
of the planning process when it suits their objectives but are willing to ignore
public opinion when it conflicts with the City’s political agenda.

159

Ridgeland-BM-14973-23377, Email from Alan Hart to Gene McGee, July 21, 2007 at
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23378.
160
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23332 - Ridgeland-BM-14973-23336, Email from Collette McIntyre to
Katherine Youngblood, Aug. 23, 2007
161
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23215, Email from Susan Haltom to the Mayor and the Board of
Aldermen, October 11, 2007.

61

2. The 2009 Comprehensive Plan
Because the 2009 Comprehensive Plan incorporated the 2008 RAMP, the
biased and non-inclusive public process that characterized public participation in
the RAMP also underpins the Comprehensive Plan. As has been discussed
above, there has been no text amendment to the policies underlying Ridgeland’s
2009 Comprehensive Plan authorizing the use of amortization to terminate nonconforming uses, as is recommended by the APA in its model legislation. The
Comprehensive Plan contains no amortization policy and does not even mention
amortization of non-conformities that the 2014 Zoning Ordinance advocates.
The Future Land Use Map adopted with it also switches the Cottage Housing
proposal for Southeast Ridgeland expressed in the RAMP to Residential TND.
B. 2014 Zoning Ordinance
Although the 2014 Zoning Ordinance rezoned several apartment complexes and
other parcels, no meaningful public outreach or public participation process was
conducted to involve the community in the process or to test public opinion in
regard to these sweeping changes.
Processes for zoning changes vary from municipality to municipality. But a
comparison of Ridgeland’s treatment of other zoning or property-related actions
indicates that notice here was deficient under the City’s own practices and
understanding of how to make affected properties aware of potential changes to
their status.
For instance, typically, Ridgeland property owners desiring a change in zoning
(such as a variance or conditional use permit) are required to submit a rezoning
application to the Zoning Board. The Community Development Department then
runs a legal ad in the newspaper and is required to post signs on the property
being rezoned. The applicant must notify every landowner within 160 feet of the
subject property of the public hearing via certified mail.162 The public hearing
before the Zoning Board can take place after the ad is posted in the newspaper.
If the Zoning board approves the application/petition, then the application will go
before the Mayor and Board of Aldermen for final approval or denial.
Here, by contrast, before adopting the 2014 Zoning Ordinance, the City
advertised the public hearing regarding the 2014 Ordinance and rezoning just
once—December 26, 2013, the day after Christmas—in the Madison County
Journal, a local paper for which Ridgeland did not know the readership

162

http://www.ridgelandms.org/city-departments/community-development/planning-and-zoning/

62

statistics.163 As a result, only one person who worked for a developer spoke at
this meeting.164 Indeed, when providing notice of the 2014 Ordinance to the
public, no signs were posted on the affected properties, no nearby landowners
were notified by certified mail, and no direct notice was issued to the property
owners affected by the proposed changes.165
In his deposition, Alan Hart stated that the City is not “required” to directly notify
affected property owners of zoning changes initiated by the City, by posting
signs or otherwise.166 But there is no reason why the City of Ridgeland should
hold itself to lesser standards than those required for zoning changes requested
by property owners. Ridgeland requires property owners who request zoning
changes to post signs and notify all neighbors within 160 feet by certified mail, in
addition to running newspaper ads. In this case, the apartment complexes
rezoned by the 2014 Zoning Ordinance were not given notice comparable to
what neighboring properties are entitled to under the City’s own policies and
practices.
Similarly, the City recognizes that properties need to get individuated notice in
instances where intrusions on the owner’s property rights may occur that are far
more minor than a complete rezoning of the property would be. For instance,
when the City wants to clean private property, it must schedule a public hearing
regarding the clean up action. It is required to mail the notice 2 weeks before
the hearing to the address of the subject property and to the address where the
tax notice is sent.167 In addition, the City is required to post the notice on the
property and as well as somewhere in town (e.g., City Hall) where such notices
normally would be posted.
The City has further recognized that these standards set minimum requirements,
and that it must sometimes make additional steps to ensure that the affected
property owner has notice of the City’s intended actions, depending on the
extent of the property rights affected. For instance, in a presentation to the
Mississippi Municipal League Small Town Conference in November 2011,
Ridgeland’s Director of Community Development, Alan Hart, presented the
following slides explaining how cities have “an obligation to take additional steps

163

Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. 258-59.
Section 11 and Class A Hearing Tr., Ex 33, Minutes of Meeting of the Mayor and the Board
of Aldermen, Jan 21, 2014, p. 1.
165
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. 259-61.
166
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 277.
167
Ramsey Dep. at 163-167
164

63

to affect [sic] notice” under certain situations as the “due process requirements
of giving notice are flexible and depend on the particular project”:

Slides from a November 17, 2011 presentation by Alan Hart & Troy Johnston
Source:http://www.mmlonline.com/_assets/files/cityhall/docs/Cleaning%20of%20Private
%20Property.pdf, Presented in Hart Dep (30)(b) at 263, Exhibit 32.

Thus, it seems that the City understands through its own policies that statutes
setting notice requirements set out a minimum standard that must be met to give
property owners notice, and have in practice required property owners to either
themselves take additional steps (or the City to take additional steps) to
adequately inform affected individuals of changes to their property status.

64

Nor is it the case that the City would have had difficulty contacting the apartment
complex owners directly to let them know about the zoning change and give
residents and apartment complex owners the opportunity to participate in the
public hearing and approval process. For example, the testimony I have
reviewed to date indicates that when the City was pursuing its aggressive code
enforcement program against apartment complexes it maintained a list of
apartment complex owners with their contact information that it updated every
four to six months.168 In fact, the City sent letters to the property managers at
the apartments to apprise them of their new 100% rental inspection program.169
So, the City was aware of who to contact at affected properties and understood
how to get in touch with them. In addition, it appears that the City has directly
reached out to apartment residents in the past when it wanted to do so. For
instance, when the 2010 census occurred, the City posted notices on the doors
of apartment buildings to encourage residents to participate and fill out census
forms in order to try to obtain federal funding based on their demographic
information.170 Thus, the City has demonstrated that it has the ability to contact
apartment complexes when it suits them.171
A public hearing was opened on January 21 but, at the request of the single
person that attended, it was continued to February 4, 2014. The Zoning Board
conducted only a single meeting, on January 30 to discuss the 2014 Zoning
Ordinance.
The public hearing was continued until February 4, 2014—the
same day that the Alderman voted to approve the Zoning Ordinance, indicating
that there was never any intention of incorporating public opinion into the
decision-making process. This does not indicate a bona fide democratic
planning process that weighed the public benefits of rezoning vis-à-vis the
private costs. Instead, it suggests that the Board and the Aldermen merely
rubberstamped the ordinance, and did so after the fact.
In sum, it appears that Ridgeland did not follow its own recommended
processes when adopting the 2014 Ordinance. It did not give apartment
complex owners or apartment residents direct notice of the proposed zoning
changes even though they would be dramatically affected by the Ordinance. A

168

Ramsey Dep. at 163-167.
Id. at 152-53.
170
Ramsey Dep. at 171-5.
171
Ridgeland’s City Planner also testified that he had mapped zoning changes using Ridgeland’s
GIS mapping system and could have published the maps for property owners and other
interested parties to review it before the Rezoning if the City so desired
169

65

meeting of the Zoning Board to develop a recommendation prior to the public
hearing was not held. And no real opportunity for public input was provided prior
to the adoption of the ordinance. Consequently, public participation in this
enactment was deficient.
VII. 2014 ZONING ORDINANCE
ANALYSIS AND OPINIONS

AMORTIZATION

PROVISION:

In this section, I first present an overview of the history of amortization and its
application to various land uses. I then discuss the amortization formula that is
used to establish and calculate amortization periods. I then examine the use of
amortization to eliminate non-conforming uses in Mississippi, which has been
very limited. Finally, court cases relevant to the Baymeadows case are
discussed.
A. History of Amortization
The beginnings of amortization can be traced from the birth of zoning in 1916
when New York passed the first zoning law. It was not until the early 1950’s,
however, that amortization began to be more widely adopted. During this
period, amortization was applied to eliminate uses with relatively low values, like
non-conforming signs or sheds with outdoor storage.
The use of amortization began to be curtailed in 1965, when Congress adopted
the Highway Beautification Act. The Act provided for compensation of all nonconforming billboards on federal highways. In 1978, Congress amended this
Act to specifically prohibit amortization of non-conforming billboards on federal
highways.172 Although cities can still amortize non-conforming billboards not
located on federal highways, this has become more difficult politically.
The use of amortization to eliminate non-conforming uses has been fragmented,
and for the most part, limited to uses where there has been little or no
substantial investment in structures, like signs or sheds, and nuisances such as
adult entertainment uses. There is no general consensus on methods of setting
amortization periods, particularly for major structures; this is partly because the
technique has been so rarely applied to high value buildings.

172

https://www.planning.org/policy/guides/adopted/billboards.htm

66

B. Application of Amortization to Residential Areas
Amortization was originally intended to protect residential areas from noxious or
nuisance uses existing before the neighborhoods had developed. Indeed, the
APA legislative handbook discusses amortization in the context of a spectrum of
nonconforming uses: on the one hand are high-value, noxious nuisance uses
like industrial plants, and on the other hand, nonconforming uses on open or
abandoned land like billboards and signs.173 In contrast, Ridgeland is using
amortization to eliminate residential units in neighborhood areas. I am not
familiar with any similar amortization program targeted toward the mass removal
of over a thousand units of lower income housing in established residential
areas.
Several years ago, I was part of an international study team that advised the
Planning Department of the Hong Kong Government on the American
experience with using amortization to eliminate non-conforming uses that posed
nuisances to the region’s neighborhoods. The use of amortization to eliminate
residential uses was never contemplated. A number of Pilot Test Cases were
developed in order to test various formulas for calculating amortization periods.
The uses contemplated for amortization included:




Gas Works
Vehicle Repair
Building materials Sales Outlets
Metal Workshop
Adult Hotel

Ridgeland’s application of amortization to terminate a large portion of
Ridgeland’s supply of housing for lower income families appears to be an abuse
of the concept of amortization, which is intended to protect residential areas, not
to eliminate them.
C. Ridgeland’s Amortization Ordinance
Based on Alan Hart’s deposition testimony, my understanding is that an attorney
with Butler Snow drafted Section 40 of Ridgeland’s 2014 Zoning Ordinance,
which authorizes the City to terminate designated non-conforming uses by
amortization. Hart testified that this was not standard procedure and that never
before in his tenure as Community Development Director had an attorney been

173

American Planning Association Legislative Handbook at 8-112; Dodd Dep. at 59-61, 64

67

retained to draft City ordinances. He testified that normally the drafting of
ordinances is outsourced to a planning professional.174 This further underscores
the unorthodox process that underlies the development of Ridgeland’s
amortization ordinance.
1. Classifications of Non-Conformities
The ordinance establishes three classes of non-conformities:
Class A Nonconformities.
Class A includes all existing non-conformities that were conforming prior to the
adoption of the February 2001 zoning ordinance. It also includes single-family
houses on non-conforming lots as well as vacant non-conforming single-family
lots. Both must be in areas zoned for single family. According to Ridgeland,
Class A Nonconformities are uses that “if allowed to continue, would not be
contrary to the public health, safety, or welfare of the city, and that are not likely
to significantly depress the value of nearby properties.”175 These will be allowed
to exist, unless they are discontinued for more than 6 months. However, Class
A status is freely revocable at any point by the City of Ridgeland.
The Ordinance allows the City to revoke Class A status if finds that any change
of circumstances or conditions results in the property no longer being eligible for
Class A status. It is not clear what sort of changes or conditions could change
the status of a preexisting conformity or a non-conforming single-family
nonresidential lot, two of the uses eligible for Class A status.
Class B Nonconformities
Class B includes “all other non-conformities.” All Class B Nonconformities are
subject to termination by amortization. The amortization formula (discussed in
greater detail below) is outlined by Section 40.12. Class B Nonconformities are
required to register with the City of Ridgeland within six months of February 4,
2014.
Class C Nonconformities
Any non-conforming building or use that fails to register within six months of the
effective date of the Ordinance is considered to be Class C Nonconformity.

174
175

Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 192.
Ridgeland-BM-00940, 2014 Official Zoning Ordinance at Ridgeland-BM-00996.

68

Class C Nonconformities must be brought into conformity or removed by
February 4, 2015.
2. Amortization Formula
The formula for amortizing Class B Nonconformities is laid out in Section 40.12
of the 2014 Zoning Ordinance. Even assuming that it is appropriate to amortize
high-value residential housing, Section 40.12 is highly problematic. This is
largely because various aspects of Ridgeland’s amortization formula are vague
and difficult to apply which makes the formula potentially subject to
manipulation.
Most amortization formulas require that the Base Unrecoverable Costs of a
property first be established. Simply put, Ridgeland’s method for determining
Base Unrecoverable Costs—the crucial first input of any amortization formula—
is problematic for numerous reasons.
The first step in establishing the Base Unrecoverable Costs in any amortization
formula is to determine market value of the site. Section 40.12 requires that
Ridgeland use a non-representative figure to calculate the purported “market
value” of the non-conforming sites it seeks to amortize. Some approaches to
determining market value rely on the opinions of licensed appraisers regarding
the value of the site. Others consider the owner’s investment in the premises.
Still others look at the costs of replacing the premises in a new location. In the
limited cases that have upheld amortization formulas, courts have looked more
favorably on amortization formulas that synthesize all three of these
approaches—market value, owner’s investment, and replacement costs—in
establishing the unrecoverable costs.
But Ridgeland’s zoning ordinance, by contrast, recommends using the assessed
tax value as a proxy for market value. This is problematic, because while
assessed values do correlate with trends in market values for real property in
most instances, the assessed value can be much different from its market value.
My understanding from counsel is that Baymeadows was last reassessed in
2009. In the post-recessionary years since then, housing values in the Jackson
metro area have increased significantly. According to one source, housing
prices have increased by 6.2% in metro Jackson in the past 12 months. 176 For
income producing residential properties, like Baymeadows, rental inflation can
by used as a proxy for inflation in market values. Data compiled by REIS, the

176

http://www.realtor.com/data-portal/realestatestatistics/Jackson_MI

69

most authoritative source on residential rental property, show that rents in the
Jackson metro area have increased by 6.7% since 2010, driven by positive
income and job growth. 177
Supporting rental inflation has been low
unemployment, which declined from 11.3% in 2010 to 5.6% in the second
quarter of 2015. By substituting assessed values for market values, the City’s
amortization formula understates the value of the property to be amortized.
Additionally, Section 40.12 does not clearly define the factors and other
variables that can increase and decrease Base Unrecoverable Cost
calculations, and thus is unclear and potentially subject to manipulation by the
parties applying it.
Generally speaking, when determining amortization
schedules pursuant to an amortization formula, the next step in determining the
Base Unrecoverable Cost is to adjust the initial estimate of the property’s value
for factors that increase and factors that decrease the property’s value.
Ridgeland’s Ordinance stipulates that factors decreasing unrecoverable costs
include, “at a minimum,” the value of the site along with any depreciation taken
by its present owner for tax purposes, while factors increasing the owner’s
unrecoverable costs, “at a minimum,” must include the costs of demolition of
non-conforming structures and any site restoration work needed.
Alan Hart, in his deposition of June 4, 2015, acknowledged the vagueness of the
Ordinance regarding the factors that can increase and reduce the Base
Unrecoverable Costs. When questioned about what factors could be used in the
formula, Mr. Hart said that there were “all sorts of factors” and that he could not
provide examples of what these factors might be, but he would expect them to
vary for different uses and types of non-conformities.178 When asked about how
property owners were to know which factors could increase or decrease their
Base Costs, Mr. Hart said that the City would defer to the “industry standard”
data. In such a rarely used technique as amortization, the existence of an
“industry standard” is questionable.
The final step of Ridgeland’s amortization formula calls for determining the net
income from the property being amortized. Ridgeland allows net income to be
determined by the average return on investment for similar properties or
businesses in the local area. Alternatively, the owner can present actual audited
financial statements for the property or business being amortized. In any event,
dividing the Base Unrecoverable Costs by the annual return on investment
yields the unadjusted Amortization Period. To calculate the final amortization

177
178

Second Quarter 2015 Reis Asset Advisor REIS Observer Report.
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 281-289.

70

period, the formula requires that the base recoverable costs be increased by
1.5% a year for inflation for the life of the amortization. Over the past ten years,
inflation has averaged 2.4% a year,179 so for a long-term assumption, a 1.5%
annual inflation rate is very low.
If the income stream from a property is particularly low, this can result in long
amortization periods. Bernie Giessner, Chairman of the Zoning Board, has
pointed out in an email that, if the annual return from a property were just 1% a
year, this formula could yield amortization periods of 100 years or longer.180 It is
telling that this email was sent after the City had already set the 2014 Ordinance
for a vote and that no one appears to have addressed Chairman Giessner’s
concern. No revisions were made to the Ordinance as a result.
3. Amortization as Applied to Baymeadows
In this section, I consider how Ridgeland’s amortization formula might be applied
to the Baymeadows Apartments. I find that, essentially, the formula cannot be
applied in a coherent way to amortize Baymeadows because, for the three years
preceding the passage of the 2014 Ordinance, the complex has operated at a
loss, with expenses exceeding revenues from rents, a situation the Section
40.12 formula apparently did not anticipate.
Table A-1 shows the results of my calculations of how Ridgeland’s amortization
formula would apply to Baymeadows. Ridgeland’s amortization formula requires
that the assessed value be used as a proxy for market value. In February of
2014, when the Zoning Ordinance was passed, the value of the property was
assessed at $9.24 million. While I am not an expert in valuing apartments, since
assessed value and market value may vary widely, this starting point seems
arbitrary and unreasonable.

179
180

http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1505.pdf
Hart 30(b)(6) Dep. at 288.

71

Ridgeland  Amortization  Formula  -­‐  Applied  to  Baymeadows  
Apartments  
BASE  
    UNRECOVERABLE  
COSTS  
Assessed  Value  of  
Buildings  -­‐-­‐Feb  2014  
   
Factors  Decreasing  Costs:  
  Value  of  Land  
  2  Years  Depreciation  
  Factors  Decreasing  Costs  
  Adjusted  Cost  Basis  
   
Factors  Increasing  Costs:  
  Value  of  Improvements  
July  2013-­‐  Feb  2014  
  Demolition  
  Site  Restoration  
  Value  of  Relocation  Site  
         Subtotal    
   
  Base  Unrecoverable  Costs  
 
Annual  Loss  on  Property183  
 
 
 
AMORTIZATION  
PERIOD  

 

 
Basis  

 
$9,240,000

 

Madison  Co  Assessor  

0    Madison  County  Assessor  
 $314,598     Current  Financial  Statements  for  BM  
 $314,598    
 
 $8,925,402     AV-­‐Factors  
Decreasing  Costs  

 $40,037    
$  766,764    
 $629,006  
$10,725,000  
 $12,160,807  

 

Current  Financial  Statements  for  BM  
191,691  sq.  ft.  @  $4/sq.    ft.181  
14.44  Acres.  @  $1/sq.    ft.  
Appraised  Value182  
Factors  Increasing  Costs  

 $21,086,209     Adjusted  Cost  Basis  +  Factors  Increasing  Costs.  
-­‐$211,408   Current  Audited  Financial  Statements    
 

   
 
-­‐100   Years  
 -­‐  Unrecoverable  Costs/Annual  Return  

  for Baymeadows are limited to the
Factors decreasing the Unrecoverable Cost
 
tax depreciation that BBC has taken since it assumed ownership of

181

Based on demolition of apartment building in Baton Rouge, LA example provided at
http://www.hometowndemolitioncontractors.com/demolition-cost/building-demolition/commercialbuilding-demolition
182
Self-Contained Appraisal Report of the Baymeadows Apartments, Southeastern Consulting
Group, William F. Cantrell, MAI, CCIM, August 14, 2015.
183
Average based on Summer, Green, & LaRoux, LLP, Audited Financial Statements for Years
ending Dec. 31, 2010, Dec. 31, 2011 Dec. 31, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2013.

72

 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 

Baymeadows in August 2013. Since the property tax assessment shows a zero
value for the land, the value of the site cannot be deducted from the
unrecoverable costs. The adjusted cost basis after deducting depreciation is
$8.9 million. Factors increasing Baymeadows’ costs include demolition, which is
estimated at $4 sq. ft., and site restoration at $1 sq. ft. Ridgeland’s Zoning
Ordinance does not prohibit the consideration of other factors that have been
used to adjust unrecoverable costs, such as the value of a relocation site for the
property or business. Based on a recent appraisal of the property, the value of a
relocation site is estimated at $10.7 million.
Factors increasing costs amount to $12.2 million, with the Total Unrecoverable
Costs coming to over $21 million.
Ridgeland’s amortization formula next
requires that the annual income of the property be divided by the Total
Unrecoverable Costs to get the Preliminary Amortization Period.
However,
according to audited financial statements, Baymeadows recorded losses
averaging $211,408 a year over the past three years. I conclude that, because
there has been no positive annual return on the property, Baymeadows cannot
be amortized under Ridgeland’s 2014 Zoning Ordinance.
D. Ridgeland’s Ordinance Is Like No Other Currently in Place in
Mississippi
My research has shown that few Mississippi cities authorize amortization of nonconforming uses. Ridgeland’s amortization provision is unique in that it extends
to all uses. Amortization is authorized by Jackson’s 2014 zoning ordinance for
non-conforming adult uses only and has a clearly-defined three-year period for
all such uses:
Any adult arcade, adult bookstore, adult cabaret, adult
entertainment establishment, adult motel, or adult motion picture
theater, as defined in this Ordinance, in existence at the time of
adoption of this Ordinance which violates or does not conform to
the provisions hereof (hereafter, a "pre- existing, non-conforming
business") shall conform to the provisions of this Ordinance within
a period of three (3) years from said adoption of this Ordinance. 184
If an owner wants to appeal the three-year amortization period, the City of
Jackson will consider the following factors:

184

Section 1303.03-Amortization of Non-Conforming Uses, City of Jackson Zoning Ordinance,
April 2014.

73

The amount of the owner's investment in the business through the
effective date of the ordinance;

The amount of such investment that has been or will have been realized
at the conclusion of the three-year amortization period;

The life expectancy of the enterprise;

The existence or nonexistence of lease obligations, as well as any
contingency clauses therein permitting termination of such lease.185

The Canton, Mississippi Uniform Development Code authorizes amortization
solely for non-conforming signs that have been accidently destroyed beyond 50%
of their market value. It stipulates that such signs must be removed or brought
into conformance with the ordinance.
Elsewhere in Mississippi, tiny
Diamondhead authorizes the use of amortization to terminate non-conforming
uses in its Comprehensive Plan, but the City’s zoning ordinance limits
amortization to the removal of non-conforming signs. Ridgeland’s authorization
of the use of amortization for all types of non-conforming buildings and uses is
unique in Mississippi.
Conclusion
As I have discussed in detail above, the evidence does not support the City’s
claim that it pursued a reasoned, rational, and thoughtful process in developing
and implementing the 2014 Zoning Ordinance that incorporated the input of its
citizens. Instead, the evidence indicates that the City pursued a flawed process
that showed no clear vision or consistent plan for the redevelopment site other
than the displacement of low-income households, most of which cannot afford to
own their homes. The Ordinance produced to justify elimination of Baymeadows
is unsupported by the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Specific opinions on internal
and external consistency; service to the general welfare; the process used by
the City in developing the Ordinance; the applicability of the Section 40
amortization provisions; and the other bases of these opinions are contained in
the summary of opinions and throughout this report.

185

Section 1303.03-Amortization of Non-Conforming Uses, City of Jackson Zoning Ordinance,
April 2014.

74

Respectfully submitted,

Margaret Collins, AICP
Director, Cambridge Economic Research
71 Putnam Ave.
Cambridge, MA

75

APPENDIX A

Years of Experience - 25
Education
M.A, Urban Planning, Washington
University in St. Louis
B.A., History & Political Science,
Webster University, St. Louis, MO

Margaret Collins, AICP
Director
Cambridge Economic Research
71 Putnam Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139
617-876-8880
Email: mcollins@cambridgeecon.com
www. CambridgeEcon.com

SPECIFIC EXPERTISE

• Amortization of Non-conforming
Uses.
• Expert Witness Testimonial
• Zoning & Master Planning

Margaret Collins is a consultant with 25 years of international experience in real estate market analysis, land use
planning, and zoning for redevelopment of brownfield sites and buildings. She is Director of Cambridge Economic
Research, a consulting firm specializing in site, market, financial, and economic impact analysis for real estate
development projects. Ms. Collins is an international expert in the application of amortization techniques to phase
out non-conforming uses and has provided Expert Witness support in Zoning and Amortization litigation. She has
worked with local, regional, and state development authorities throughout the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and in
Asia. Ms. Collins has advised private developers and investment banks on project content and feasibility.
Prior to establishing Cambridge Economic Research, Ms. Collins was Director of the Scotland Office of Roger Tym &
Partners where she worked with European urban renewal agencies and private developers on a range of economic
and real estate development projects. She has an MA in Urban Planning from Washington University and a BA in
History and Political Science from Webster University and is a member and a former Chairman of the Missouri
Division of American Institute of Certified Planners. She has published a book and several articles on real estate and
economic development topics. Some examples of her work include:
Expert Witness Support – Forman v. City of Mill Creek, WA
Provided expert witness support the Appellant’s challenge of the City’s use of amortization to shut down a mining
operation in a residential neighborhood. After reviewing relevant documents, we prepared a Declaration stating
that the three-year amortization period for such a use was not reasonable because (a) the City had not properly
considered the owner’s investment in the property, replacement costs, and market value of the site and (b) there
were no structures on the property that could be amortized; amortization applies only to buildings and
improvements, not to the land value. Based on our Affidavit, the City dropped the case against Pacific Soils.
Amortization of Non-Conforming Uses, Hong Kong Redevelopment Agency
Ms. Collins was retained by the Hong Kong Redevelopment Agency to advise on the American concept of using
Amortization to phase out non-conforming industrial uses in residential areas. We advised Hong Kong planners
on the American uses of amortization and helped them to establish a well-conceived, comprehensive, and legally
defensible approach to developing an Amortization System to mitigate the impacts of noxious non-conforming
industrial uses on residential neighborhoods. We recommended models to determine (a) the costs to be
amortized and (b) the appropriate amortization period, on a case-by-case basis.
Real Estate Market Impacts of the Jackson Airport Connector, Mississippi DOT
Under subcontract to Global Insight, Cambridge Economic Research examined the potential economic and real
estate development opportunities that are likely to emanate from the new Jackson Parkway Airport Connector
(MS-25), a proposed 10-mile toll way between the city center and Jackson International Airport. Cambridge
Economic Research conducted a review of the literature on impacts of urban airport connectors. This concluded that

the new highway could be expected to have a pronounced positive impact on the corridor if proactive zoning
policies are put in place because real estate conditions in the study corridor were strong and the volume of airport
traffic was growing rapidly.
Fall River Riverfront Revitalization Strategy, Mass DOT
Conducted a build-out analysis of a series of redevelopment parcels that will be released by replacing an existing
elevated highway on Fall River’s waterfront with an urban boulevard. Based on interviews with businesses and
property owners, Cambridge Economic Research evaluated the potential supply of the riverfront parcels for
redevelopment with a mix of multi-family residential, retail, entertainment, and office uses allowable by the site’s
form-based zoning ordinance.
Site Evaluation for a New Southeastern US Headquarters, Sverdrup Corp (now Jacobs Engineering)
Ms. Collins evaluated alternative locations for a new Southeastern Headquarters for a major engineering firm.
Locations in Jackson, Atlanta, Montgomery, and Greensboro were evaluated. Based on our recommendations, the
firm chose the Greensboro location.
Economic & Fiscal Impact of the Riverside Station Transit Oriented Development, City of Newton, MA
For the City of Newton, Cambridge Economic Research peer reviewed an economic and fiscal impact analysis of a
mixed-use transit-oriented development on the City and its residents. This $350 million project, which is scheduled
to start construction this summer, will bring 290 apartments, a 10-story office building, and retail space to an 11acre parcel of MBTA-owned land surrounding a Green Line station.
Affordable Housing in St. Louis: The Supply and Demand, Phoenix Fund
Analysis of Census data on the supply of and demand for low income housing in the St. Louis metropolitan area
conducted for a public research foundation. The study found that there is a shortage of new housing being created
for the working poor in St. Louis.
Evaluation of Entergy Economic Development Programs, Entergy Utility
Survey of local economic development agencies in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, & Texas. Assessment of the
economic impacts of funding from the US Economic Development Administration and Entergy (the electric utility
company) for infrastructure to develop industrial sites.
Economic Impact of Proposed Mississippi River Bridge in Northern Louisiana, St. Francisville, LA
Assessment of economic development potential of increased tourism emanating from a proposed new Mississippi
River Bridge on Louisiana Highway 10.
Arkansas Aeroplex Master Plan, Blytheville, AK
Target industry and branding strategy for the Arkansas Aeroplex Industrial Park, which was redeveloped on the
former site of Eaker Air Force Base in Blytheville, in Northeastern Arkansas. CER identified target industries and
companies in the aerospace industry. Since, then 1.5 million square feet of flex space has been developed in the
park, which now accommodates thousands of new jobs.
Feasibility Study for the Ritz Carlton Residences, Millennium Partners
Feasibility study for a 60-story luxury residential tower in the heart of Downtown Boston. Conducted case studies
and collected primary data on the demand for luxury housing in Downtown Boston. Based on a Logistic
Regression Model, demand for high-end units in downtown Boston was found to be sufficient to support the
proposed development, which was completed a decade ago. The development has consistently achieved some of
the highest rents and rates of occupancy in the City.
Cambridge Rent Control Economic and Social Impact Analysis, City of Cambridge, MA
Two years after rent control ended, Cambridge Economic Research was Project manager for a Survey of 1000
tenant households in Cambridge. The purpose of the survey was to gauge the impacts of the termination of rent
control on the rents and household turnover in Cambridge, MA. The study found that most rent control
households stayed in their units after deregulation and were paying rents 40% below market rate. Those who
moved were more affluent than those who stayed and most moved for reasons other than rent increases.

Build Out Analysis for the Seaport District, Mass DOT
Project lead on a study examining the development potential of key redevelopment sites in Boston’s Seaport
District. Based on the district’s form-based mixed-use zoning ordinance, Ms. Collins projected jobs, wages, and
taxes from development parcels in the Seaport District that have been made more accessible by the project. The
study found that improved access to and within the Seaport District is expected to stimulate over $7 billion in
private investment, creating 7700 housing units, 10 million sq. ft. of commercial space, and 2600 hotel rooms.
This development is projected to support 43,000 new jobs in the City.
Mass Pike Air Rights Development Potential Study, Mass DOT
In the corridor between Chinatown and Boston University, there are 23 parcels with a possible surface area of 44
acres that could be developed on top of the Massachusetts Turnpike. Cambridge Economic Research conducted a
build out analysis of these parcels and projected economic and fiscal impacts of the eventual development of
these sites.
Kelley’s Corner Redevelopment Plan, Acton, MA
Cambridge Economic Research is currently conducting market studies and Market and feasibility analysis of
redevelopment of strip mall properties in the center of Acton. Residents want a higher-density, mixed-use, walkable
pedestrian town center environment focused on food, health, fitness, and entertainment. Cambridge Economic
Research consulted with realtors and property owners, developed case study illustrations of successful up-cycling of
strip mall sites into town centers, and provided proforma financial analysis of alternatives for redevelopment.
Madbury Commons Student Housing Feasibility Study, Golden Goose Capital Partners
For a private developer, Cambridge Economic Research conducted an analysis of the market for a mixed-use student
housing development in Durham, NH. The study found that, despite the recent proliferation of student housing in
Durham over the past decade, there is still unmet demand for additional off-campus student housing. A fiscal
impact analysis was also conducted that found that the taxes from the development would exceed its fiscal costs by
a ratio of 2:1.
Dulles Greenway Toll Highway Land Use Assessment, VA, Macquarie Investment Bank
The Dulles Greenway Toll Highway Road connects Dulles Airport with Leesburg, VA in the outer DC suburbs. For
Macquarie Investment Bank, owner of the highway, Margaret evaluated the zoning of new development area visà-vis the capacity of available sites and supporting infrastructure. Findings were used to project revenues from
the new toll road.
Chesapeake Bridge Tolling Study, BBT Investment Bank
For BBT, a multi-national investment bank, Cambridge Economic Research conducted a build-out analysis that
calibrates zoning regulations, and demographic and economic growth projections with travel demand forecasts.
Future revenue growth potential of the new toll bridge was forecasted by examining the supply of sites and
infrastructure for future development.
Chicago Rail Yards Redevelopment Study, Chicago DOT
Projection of highest and best reuses for redevelopment of 16 former rail sites scattered throughout Chicago’s
South Side. Forecasts of economic and fiscal impacts of new jobs and taxes from redevelopment with a mix of
uses consistent with the City’s zoning ordinance.
Outer Banks Development Capacity Study, North Carolina, BB&T Capital Markets
Review of available sites and zoning in the Outer Banks Region. Assessment of the region’s potential to achieve
growth forecast by travel demand models. Based on this process, demographic and economic growth projections
were synthesized and calibrated with travel demand forecasts.
East Delmar Commercial District Revitalization Strategy, St. Louis, Mo
Survey of retailers, analysis of data and models, and identification of emerging market opportunities for
revitalizing an underutilized commercial district in St. Louis within close proximity of Washington University.

Selected Books & Publications
“ Economic Impact of an NBA Franchise on Louisville, Oct. 23, 2012 at
http://www.scribd.com/doc/115368388/Cambridge-Economic-Research-s-Study-on-the-Economic-Impact-of-anNBA-Franchise-on-Louisville#scribd
“Amortization of Nonconforming Uses”, PAS Memo, American Planning Association, April 2001.
“Methods of Determining Amortization Periods for Non-Conforming Uses”, Urban Law Review Quarterly, Feischrift
Edition, Autumn 2000.
"Rejoinder to: "Is the St. Louis Redevelopment Program Fiscally Beneficial?" Journal of Urban Affairs, Winter 1990.
"Celebrating the City Through Tourism: Civic Boosterism in the Late Twentieth Century” Urban Resources, Vol. 5,
No.3, Spring 1989.
Reviving Cities With Tax Abatement, New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press, 1981. (Book co-authored with
Professor Daniel R. Mandelker, Professor Emeritus Washington University Law School)
Missouri's Urban Redevelopment Corporations Law: A Policy Study, for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development, Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 1979.
“Political Coalitions and Redevelopment in Central Cities: The Case of Tourism" in Gary Tobin (ed.), The Changing
Structure of the City: What Happened to the Urban Crisis? Volume 16, Urban Affairs Annual Reviews, Sage
Publications 1979.

Professional Memberships
Full Member, American Institute of Certified Planners
American Planning Association, Missouri Section Director, 1989-1990;
Former Secretary, Massachusetts Association of Consulting Planners
Public Transit Professionals Network
Economic Development Professionals Network
Transportation@MIT Initiative

APPENDIX B
MATERIALS RELIED ON
Legal Documents

AVR, Inc. v. City of St. Louis Park, No. C7-98-516,
United States Court of Appeals of Minnesota, December 15, 1998

Board of Adjustment of the City of Dallas, Texas v. Patel, No. 06-94-00061-CV,
United States Court of Appeals of Texas, September 8, 1994

City of Garland, Texas v. Valley Oil Company, No. 17891,
United States Court of Civil Appeals of Texas, Dallas, July 13, 1972

Dyer v. Board of Adjustment of the City of Dallas, No. 05-94-00093-CV,
United States Court of Appeals of Texas, January 11, 1995

Lone v. Montgomery County, Nos. 446, 699, 702,
United States Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, January 21, 1991

Murmur Corporation v. The Board of Adjustment of the City of Dallas, No. 05-8500528-CV,
United States Court of Appeals of Texas, October 27, 1986

Neighborhood Committee on Lead Pollution v. The Board of Adjustment of the City
of Dallas,
No. 05-86-00198-CV, United States Court of Appeals of Texas, February 27, 1987

Nickell v. Montgomery County, Maryland, No.88-1119,
United States Court of Appeals of Maryland, June 20, 1989

Ploof v. Apostol, 956 N.Y.S. 2d 286 (2012)

Red Roof Inns, Inc. v. City of Ridgeland, Mississippi, No. 1999-CA-00653-SCT,
Supreme Court of Mississippi, March 1, 2001

Standard Oil Co. v. City of Tallahassee, No. 13089,
United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit, July 28, 1950

State of North Carolina v. Joyner, No. 112,
Supreme Court of North Carolina, January 31, 1975

Village of Oak Park v. Gordon, No. 38507,
Supreme Court of Illinois, March 18, 1965

Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgment, Injunctive Relief and Damages,
BBC Baymeadows, LLC v. City of Ridgeland, Mississippi,
No. 14-cv-00676-HTW-LRA, United States District Court, Southern District of
Mississippi,
January 15, 2015

30(b)(6) Deposition of Alan Hart and all Exhibits,
BBC Baymeadows, LLC v. City of Ridgeland, Mississippi,
No. 14-cv-00676-HTW-LRA, United States District Court, Southern District of
Mississippi,
June 4, 2015

30(b)(6) Deposition of Alan Hart and all Exhibits,
BBC Baymeadows, LLC v. City of Ridgeland, Mississippi,
No. 14-cv-00676-HTW-LRA, United States District Court, Southern District of
Mississippi,
June 5, 2015

30(b)(6) Deposition of Paula Tierce and all Exhibits,
BBC Baymeadows, LLC v. City of Ridgeland, Mississippi,
No. 14-cv-00676-HTW-LRA, United States District Court, Southern District of
Mississippi,
June 5, 2015

Deposition of Matt Dodd and all Exhibits,
BBC Baymeadows, LLC v. City of Ridgeland, Mississippi,
No. 14-cv-00676-HTW-LRA, United States District Court, Southern District of
Mississippi,
August 27, 2015

Deposition of Chris Ramsey and all Exhibits,
BBC Baymeadows, LLC v. City of Ridgeland, Mississippi,
No. 14-cv-00676-HTW-LRA, United States District Court, Southern District of
Mississippi,
August 12, 2015

30(b)(6) Deposition of David Rotenberg and all Exhibits,
BBC Baymeadows, LLC v. City of Ridgeland, Mississippi,
No. 14-cv-00676-HTW-LRA, United States District Court, Southern District of
Mississippi,
August 25, 2015

Public Hearing Regarding the Gable’s Class A Petition and all Exhibits,
September 16, 2014; October 7, 2014

BBC Baymeadows Section 11 and Class A Hearing Transcript and all Exhibits,
January 6, 2015
2

BBC Baymeadows Section 11 and Class A Hearing Transcript and all Exhibits,
February 17, 2015

Self Contained Appraisal of the Baymeadows Apartments,
Southeastern Consulting Group, William F. Cantrell, MAI, CCIM
August 14, 2015

Bates Stamped




























BBC00034442 - BBC00034448
BBC00034449 - BBC00034455
BBC00034456 - BBC00034462
BBC00034463 - BBC00034469
Ridgeland-BM-00095 - Ridgeland-BM-00180
Ridgeland-BM-00395 - Ridgeland-BM-00564
Ridgeland-BM-00926 - Ridgeland-BM-00929
Ridgeland-BM-00940 - Ridgeland-BM-01155
Ridgeland-BM-01156 - Ridgeland-BM-01176
Ridgeland-BM-01357 - Ridgeland-BM-01454
Ridgeland-BM-01695 - Ridgeland-BM-01713
Ridgeland-BM-01714 - Ridgeland-BM-01729
Ridgeland-BM-01810 - Ridgeland-BM-01837
Ridgeland-BM-09929 - Ridgeland-BM-10221
Ridgeland-BM-10222
Ridgeland-BM-10223
Ridgeland-BM-14973-22478
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23208
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23212 - Ridgeland-BM-14973-23213
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23215
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23218 - Ridgeland-BM-14973-23219
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23220 - Ridgeland-BM-14973-23221
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23233 - Ridgeland-BM-14973-23234
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23262 - Ridgeland-BM-14973-23272
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23285 - Ridgeland-BM-14973-23293
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23296 - Ridgeland-BM-14973-23297
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23322 - Ridgeland-BM-14973-23326
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23377 - Ridgeland-BM-14973-23379
Ridgeland-BM-14973-23332 - Ridgeland-BM-14973-23336

Publically Available Documents

American Planning Association, Model Mixed-Use Zoning District Ordinance,
available at
https://www.planning.org/research/smartgrowth/pdf/section41.pdf

3

American Planning Association (“APA”), The Principles of Smart Development.

Association of Bay Area Governments, Myths and Facts about Affordable and High
Density Housing, available at
http://www.abag.ca.gov/services/finance/fan/housingmyths2.htm

Central Mississippi Planning and Development District, Traffic Counts, available at
http://gis.cmpdd.org/TC2015/

CPI Detailed Report, Data for May 2015, available at
http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1505.pdf

Dimensions Info Website, available at
http://www.dimensionsinfo.com

Great Schools
http://www.greatschools.org/mississippi/ridgeland/602-Ann-Smith-ElementarySchool/details/

Lochner , Lance and Enrico Moretti,, The effect of Education on crime: Evidence
from Prison Inmates, rrests, and Self Reports, October 2003, available at
http://eml.berkeley.edu/~moretti/lm46.pdf

Madison County, Mississippi Land Roll, available at
http://www.madison-co.com/elected-offices/tax-assessor/search-by-parcel.php

Madison County, Mississippi Real Property Search, available at
http://www.madison-co.com/elected-offices/tax-assessor/real-property-search.php

MDOT 2012 Traffic Volume Report, available at
http://www.ridgelandms.org/wp-content/uploads/Highland-Colony-ParkwayTraffic-Counts.pdf

Policy Guide on Billboard Controls, available at
https://www.planning.org/policy/guides/adopted/billboards.htm

Profit & Loss - Properties: Baymeadows Apartments 01/01/2014 - 01/31/2014

Ridgeland, Mississippi Census Quickfacts, 2013, available at
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/28/2862520.html

Ritter, John (2007-07-29). "'Complete streets' program gives more room for
pedestrians, cyclists". USA Today.

Robert W. Burchell, TCPR Report - The Costs of Sprawl - 2000

4

Screen shots and Home Values, available at
www.homes.com

Seattle Housing Authority, Yesler Terrance Development Plan, May 17, 2011,
available at
http://www.seattlehousing.org/redevelopment/pdf/DevPlanFinal-web.pdf

Section 1303.03 - Amortization of Non-Conforming Uses, City of Jackson Zoning
Ordinance, April 2014

Stuart Meck, Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook, 2002

TIGERweb – overall census map, available at
http://tigerweb.geo.census.gov/tigerweb/

TIGERweb – overall census map with satellite overlay, available at
http://tigerweb.geo.census.gov/tigerweb/

The City of Ridgeland, Mississippi Planning and Zoning, available at
http://www.ridgelandms.org/city-departments/community-development/planningand-zoning/

TRB, Highway Capacity Manual, available at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_service

U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime
Reports,
available at http://www.ucrdatatool.gov/ranking.cfm

5

APPENDIX C
LIST OF PUBLICATIONS

Margaret Collins AICP

Cambridge Economic Research, Economic Impact of an NBA
Franchise on Louisville, Oct. 23, 2012 at
http://www.scribd.com/doc/115368388/Cambridge-Economic-Research-sStudy-on-the-Economic-Impact-of-an-NBA-Franchise-on-Louisville#scribd

APPENDIX D
DEPOSITION AND TRIAL TESTIMONY

Margaret Collins, AICP
None