Sunday, May 29, 2016

More Fairhope Growth Plan Exceptions Granted

Fairhope, Alabama

Proposed doctors' offices


Liberty Square PUD proposed
The Planning Commission unanimously approved a new mixed-use commercial project to allow professional offices on a residentially-zoned lot owned by Liberty Church at 8720  Fairhope Ave.  (Churches are allowed in residential zoning.)

The Planned Unit Development will extend all the way to Morphy Ave. and include 12 new residential lots as well: a doctor intends to establish his medical office in the existing building and live on one of the lots behind it.

Allowing the use of the existing building (to be refurbished) as office space would be in  the city's interest rather than leaving the "blighted" property vacant indefinitely, according to city planner Smith.

New Fairhope Ave. PUD
The city's recently-updated village comprehensive growth plan map shows the area as residential only: the comp. plan calls for commercial development only at nodes of major intersections with residential in between, versus the usual strip-type development found in most other cities.

As approved, there will be no vehicular connection between the office building and residential lots behind either (connectivity), another exception to the comp.plan granted by the commission.

The city council will still have to approve the plan as is -- or could make changes before approval.

(When asked about it by a Times reporter, Mayor Kant expressed disappointment there was no connectivity to Morphy Ave. He is a member of the Planning Commission but was absent from this meeting. Connecting minor streets to allow more than one access to and from neighborhoods is a way to reduce traffic congestion on major roads.)


858 N.Greeno Rd. PUD approved
Also, at its last meeting by a 3-0 vote the city council gave final approval to a commercial development on N. Greeno Road: the Hayek PUD is expected to be the first of many similar new commercial projects in the residentially-zoned area.

The PUD will allow professional offices with some limited retail on that stretch of highway at the city's entrance for the first time.

Council members Ford and Mueller were absent, but Ford had indicated support at earlier meetings.


One of the major complaints heard from citizens during the update process in 2014-15 was that the plan was not being adhered to.

A new component of the updated plan, a village plan implementation task force, has not yet been appointed. 

When appointed. the task force will work to find ways to make the village concept work -- especially in un-zoned areas east of town.

(Comprehensive plans in Alabama are not legally binding in themselves; serve only as a guidelines.)

updated comprehensive plan map


Anonymous said...

Will never be satisfied until every square inch is developed will they?

Anonymous said...

I do not get it. They ask us to come too town hall meetings and fill out surveys about how we want to develop and thn they just ignore the results. Hard to figure sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear. Fairhope can't stay Fairhope forever They need to grow just like every other city.

Anonymous said...

It's quite a sham, really. Here's a quote from the mayor in a newsletter asking the public to come to the Comp Plan open houses:

"As a community, we have worked hard for the Fairhope we live in today, and we should not take it for granted. We don’t want Greeno Road to look like Airport Blvd., so I encourage residents to share their thoughts pertaining to the growth in our city. It is imperative to have our citizens participate in these meetings, as they
will guide our growth decisions for the next twenty years."

Sorry, here's one more.

"Planning decisions in Fairhope aren’t based on what the Council wants or even what the Mayor wants: Decisions are based on what you—Fairhope residents—want to see for our future."

Reading the City's entire summary of how the Comp Plan will be used is quite a sad lie. Why waste our time? Why waste the city's money? Why no explanation for the variance? What is their vision going forward?

Anonymous said...

Oh my god Fairhope may change for the better!!! The majority of Fairhope residents are either ancient, telling everybody what to do or spoiled trust fund babies who spent the last 40 years drinking, smoking, and drugging wondering why they are losers in poor health. Maybe some decent people will move in with all this development and replace the dying tyrants and drug addicts.

Anonymous said...

You all just now figuring out how things have been done in Fairhope for decades?

Anonymous said...

The problem there is the road is too small it needs to be four laned like Greno Road.

Anonymous said...

Was this from the May 2, 2016 meeting? Is there an agenda or minutes of this meeting available for the public to access?

Publisher said...

Yes, the May 2nd meeting.

You may view it here:

Anonymous said...

thank you for the link. there is no transcript or agenda on that page, only the link for the video.

Publisher said...

Find the agenda on the city website's calendar. Minutes must be approved at next meeting before release.

Anonymous said...

Everyone loves development until their neighborhoods and shopping areas are developed and then want to put a halt to any future developments. In the interest of protecting the common good..of course

Anonymous said...

Until the City adopted a "comp plan", Fairhope used to be a series of villages, genuine villages, with connectivity (meaning walkability). Little shops/stores/churches were very common throughout the little segments of Fairhope. All the zoning came about using the "village concept" which has never been implemented since inception, but approval for everything determined by the powers that be (taught well by their predecessors); depends upon how much one contributes to political campaign coffers and/or what someone's name is and who they are related to.
This physician's development should have taken place in the Medical Overlay District. In creating that district, people were left out of the process, (meetings rescheduled at last minute, rescheduled without notice, then WHAM!)Now their land/homes are pretty much tied up in an ugly knot, the people who live in that district around the Hospital cannot do anything with their land/property now unless it is related to the medical community. Yet, medical can go anywhere? Too bad for the folks in any overlay district.
Blog monitor will probably take this post down before anyone reads it, but people need to be aware of what can happen to them. Look at the recent changes from R1 homes to apartments related to a local PUD. Next will be the extension of Parker Road to Hwy. 13 (13 paved by taxpayer dollars with rationale of moving traffic, but development of properties was also a huge factor for the benefit of certain influential property owners). Excuse will be the fire dept. needs a better access out of the corner they are backed into now. Just wait and see...