Hurricane Katrina Forest Recovery

As we work together to tackle the historic challenge that Hurricane Katrina has presented to the forestry communities of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, we hope that this blog will be a valuable resource and tool.

Thursday, December 29

Enewsletter from the Governor’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding, and Renewal

December 19, 2005

The Governor’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal is nearing the December 31 deadline for submission of the Final Report to Governor Barbour. We are focused on final editing of the Report, which will include the findings and recommendations of all ten Issue Committees, along with the various County and Geographic Committees. This information and these recommendations will serve as tools for local communities as they face tough challenges such as housing, transportation, sewage, roads, education, finance, and many other issues. A printed version will be available to the public shortly after the first of the year, and an online version will be posted even sooner.

As all of you know, Governor Barbour and our congressional delegation have been working every day to get our funding package passed. These efforts have borne fruit. Please use this link to view Governor Barbour’s statement on the passage of the relief package:

The Commission continues to work with Coast communities as they make their rebuilding plans. Every week, citizen groups meet in all eleven towns and in the surrounding counties. Some cities are holding seminars to educate their personnel and elected officials on SmartCode and other aspects of zoning, coding and permitting. Some towns are already moving ahead with implementing the plans produced at the Mississippi Renewal Forum. They have scheduled follow-up sessions with local leaders and officials to figure out which parts of the plans work best for them, and how they can begin implementing these ideas. Here are some of the specific things that have happened, and some that are coming up:

Residents of Bay St. Louis partnered with KaBoom! organization to build a new children’s park in downtown Bay St. Louis on Saturday, December 17. Neighborhood children designed the park, and 650 volunteers helped build the park using tools provided by KaBoom! You can read more about the effort and see pictures of the park at

Moss Point held a three-day follow-up planning charrette on December 17, 18 and 19 to focus on implementing town plans. The final plans will be presented to Moss Point residents on Monday, December 19, 2005 at the Riverfront Recreation Center on Denny Street.

D’iberville will hold a town hall meeting to discuss the final charrette plans on Monday, December 19 at D’iberville City Hall at 6:00 p.m.

Hancock County and Bay St. Louis plan to hold a modular housing expo in Bay St. Louis.

Pass Christian City Council has tasked the city’s planning commission with implementing SmartCode.

Long Beach has requested to have follow-up charrettes and SmartCode seminars.

Gulfport has scheduled a two-day charrette and SmartCode seminar January 19 and 20.

Waveland is in the process of planning their own town charrette.

Ocean Springs has held their own town charrette. The city has also held a full-day SmartCode seminar, and is actively working on passing SmartCode for the city.

Gautier and Pascagoula are having full-day SmartCode seminars in January.

The Governor’s Commission will take part in the National Association of Homebuilders annual convention in Orlando January 11-13 in Orlando, Florida. Over 100,000 homebuilders will attend this convention, and will have a chance to see the need and opportunity to build houses in Mississippi. For the Commission’s display space, Michael Barranco of Barranco Architecture in Jackson will build a full-size, up-to-code cottage using designs from the Mississippi Renewal Forum.

Two publications are available at city halls and other places around the Coast, and they are flying off the shelves. Demand for these publications has been so great, we’ve had to order a second printing. The Summary Report provides an overview of the eleven town proposals. “A Pattern Book for Gulf Coast Neighborhoods” is a one-volume resource that gives a homebuilder or home-rebuilder information to build or rebuild in keeping with the Gulf Coast’s rich vernacular architecture. They are the product of the Mississippi Renewal Forum held in Biloxi, and they offer tools and plans for rebuilding communities and homes.


Keep up with all of the Governor’s Commission activities and news by checking our website frequently. The Governor’s Commission website is:


Governor's Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding, Renewal
800 Woodlands Parkway, Suite 200
Ridgeland, MS 39157
Phone: 601-956-0349
Fax: 601-991-3240


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