OLIVE BRANCH, MS (abc24.com) - It's a battle over the big screen. Two movie theaters are planning to build in Olive Branch, Mississippi. The city just approved zoning for the second one despite opposition from people in a nearby neighborhood.
"It's just not the right use for that land," said Kevin Goodrum, former president of the Arbors of Wedgewood Homeowner's Association. The neighborhood is less than half a mile from the planned site of a 16 screen theater.
"We understand growth is going to come, our problem is with planning department," he said. "They're not being selective about who comes into what area."
Neighbors have several concerns: whether the city can support a second theater, security and traffic.
Not everyone living close to the site is opposed to the theater.
"It's good for the economy around here," said Olive Branch resident Gene Hudspeth. "A movie theater doesn't bring crime. Crime is going to happen if it's going to happen. You keep your place nice and neat, watch your surroundings and watch out for your neighbors, and you're not going to have any problems."
Goodrum countered, "The neighbors, they've had enough of the board not listening to what their requirements are and what their requests are. They're not opposed to growth. Sensible, quality growth is what we're looking for in that ward and we're not getting it."
Aldermen have a final vote on this location next Tuesday, February 19. A public hearing will be held before they vote.