Thirsty Hippo public hearing canceled after parties meet | News
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM)- And supporters of long-time Hattiesburg watering hole The Thirsty Hippo went home pretty happy Monday night.
More than 200 people came out to the Jackie Dole Sherrill Community Center around 4 p.m. to attend the city council's would-be public hearing on whether The Thirsty Hippo would be granted a permit to use a parking lot that would enable to have a capacity of 300, and allow it to become a music venue as well as a bar and restaurant.
However the hearing did not happen. After being delayed forty minutes while parties on both sides met in the building behind closed doors, Thirsty Hippo co-owner Sarah Newton stepped up to the microphone to say to the mostly pro-Hippo crowd that the two sides were close to an agreement - the permit will likely be granted.
"I knew being a lawyer 44 years that if we started this public hearing that probably the chances of reconciling our differences were very remote," said the soon-to-be Thirsty Hippo neighbor who was contesting the permit. "So we got it after about 45 minutes and I think the best of interests were served."
said he and the bar owners will likely have an agreement in the next
week or two and - on his side - gives it a 90 to 95 percent chance that a
resolution is on the horizon.
"I look forward to having the Newtons and the thirsty hippo across the street from my law office," Lee said.
Newton said she was "pleasantly surprised" by the turn of events, and that the negotiations appear promising.
"I think that as long as everybody goes into it the way they've expressed they would like to go into it when we talked this evening, then I think everything will work out just fine."
Copyright 2012 WDAM. All rights reserved.