- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - The city of Tupelo is trying to protect the integrity of storm-damaged neighborhoods while recovery is underway.

The city council voted Tuesday for a 90-day moratorium on the issuing of any new residential rental certificates of occupancy.

“Neighborhoods were concerned about what might happen short term, in particular a house converted to rental that was not previously used for that purpose,” Pat Falkner, interim director of planning and community development, told council members.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports (https://bit.ly/1pjEapQ ) since the moratorium was approved unanimously, it can and will go into effect immediately and remain in effect for 90 days.

City Attorney Ben Logan said the moratorium will maintain the status quo as the city and neighborhoods work to organize conservation overlay districts.

The ordinance cites a uniform and orderly redevelopment of affected residential neighborhoods and return to the pre-April 28 status quo as the reason for the moratorium.

Logan said the moratorium will expire before rental property owners renewed their rental certificates in October.

Another moratorium, which would restrict building permits, also is being pursued by city officials.

Mayor Jason Shelton said the moratorium on residential building permits in the tornado-affected neighborhoods should considered when the council meets again next week.

On April 28, 23 tornadoes struck Mississippi, killing 14 people. Six of those deaths were in Louisville, where an EF-4 tornado touched down. One death was reported in Tupelo, which also sustained major damage from an EF-2 tornado.

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Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, https://djournal.com

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