Wednesday, December 31, 2014

More of Hwy 181 Rezoned To Commercial?

Fairhope, Alabama

Fairhope Planning Commission

With only one dissenting vote, the Planning Commission recommended that the residentially-zoned (RA) property directly south of Walmart be rezoned to B-4 (business/professional) to allow a dentist's office to locate there.

There will be no vehicular connection to the Walmart driveway access; but access from 181 will be restricted ("right turn only in, right out"). -- according to ALDOT access requirements for the highway.

Only a few blocks of the highway are within the city limits: the rest is currently un-zoned and the city has no control over what gets built -- unless a subdivision of the property is needed.

Several commissioners (including Burrell) expressed concerns about longstanding drainage issues (the Idlewild neighborhood drains through it and HWY 181 sometimes floods there); but commissioner Fidler was the only one to vote against the rezoning at this time: citing the current Comprehensive Growth Plan review now underway -- and concerns about excessive commercial growth in that area raised by citizens during town hall meetings last summer.

20252 Hwy 181
At those meetings, some east-siders worried about sprawl and "run-away growth"; downtown merchants about new competition for their struggling owner-operated stores.

(The 200,000+ sq. ft. Walmart Supercenter by itself exceeds the total commercial activity envisioned for that area by the city's Comprehensive Plan, 180,000.

Persistent rumors about a Home Depot or Lowes locating somewhere along the highway could not be confirmed, but some elected city officials concede more big boxes are probably "inevitable")

In 2009, '181 Place'* a five-lot PUD along the other side of Hwy 181 (directly across from Walmart) was approved -- for similar commercial purposes; but another request in 2012 for the adjacent property on the south side (to B-2) was not approved by the Commission.

The 181 Place (Klump Family Partnership) project was never begun -- click.

*see diagram below


County land records show the property was in foreclosure in Jan. of 2013 -- when Anez Investments Llc. of Mobile purchased it. (Oscar Anez, proprietor.)


The Planning Commission can only make zoning recommendations, the city council must approve it at an upcoming council meeting.

Growth Plan Meeting last August

'181 Place' PUD in red-stripe, approved in 2009. This new rezoning is the lot on the other side of the highway, directly south of Walmart.


Anonymous said...

Most people I know want a Home Depot or Lowes here.

It would finish off the 2 remaining little hardware stores though.

Anonymous said...

We still need a traffic light going into Quail Creek.

Anonymous said...

Need a lot of traffic lights (Oak and Section), but people sadly don't want to have to stop and wait, even though you can sit at this intersection and count 40+ cars at some times.

Anonymous said...

A 4-way stop would be ideal there. Would slow traffic into and out of the area without a long wait.