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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Updated: Controversial North Greeno Road Commercial Project Returns

Fairhope, Alabama

Update: The ordinance approving this project was introduced, but allowed to lay over for another two weeks after a neighborhood resident raised concerns about the possibility of additional rezoning on the west side of the road.



North Greeno Road site



CITY'S ENTRANCE A COMMERCIAL CORRIDOR?

Hayek PUD
After being pulled at the last minute from the April 11th  meeting's agenda, a proposal by Fred and Kris Hayek for a commercial Planned Unit Development on residentially-zoned property at 848 N. Greeno Road will be considered by the city council again at Monday's 6PM meeting.

The property is on the east side of the highway, just north of Volanta Park.
  
27,120 square feet of commercial space in four, thirty-five foot tall "residential looking" buildings are being proposed along with 111 parking spaces.

The majority of the space will be reserved for professional offices -- but some will be retail (19%).

The applicants requested their proposal be pulled from last month's agenda when it became apparent some council members had concerns about the type of retail activity to be allowed there; more restrictions were added (no drive-thru windows, gas stations) and the proposal resubmitted.

Permitted retail uses include: sandwich shop/deli, coffee shop, juice/smoothie shop, office supplies, barber shop, ice cream shop, gift shop, pharmacy, et al.)

"residential-looking" buildings
According to its designer, the project may serve as a template for future, similar developments all along that stretch of highway.

Critics of the project worry though that the road may eventually turn into another congested "Airport Boulevard in Mobile" but proponents argue the property there is not suitable for residences anymore.

The Planning Commission approved the project by a 8-1 vote several  months ago (click): Mayor Kant and councilman Ford in their capacity as ex officio members both voted for it.

Councilman Burrell has also publicly expressed support.

According to the city clerk, the council may choose to just introduce the ordinance Monday and let it lay over again for two weeks, or may vote for immediate consideration -- and give its final approval.


NOT COMPREHENSIVE GROWTH PLAN COMPLIANT

The project does not comply with the city's just-updated comprehensive plan map which calls for village commercial nodes at major intersections with residential in between -- as an alternative to the usual strip mall type development usually found along main roads in other towns.

Comprehensive plans in Alabama are considered only "guides" though -- not legally binding themselves.



updated comprehensive plan map







21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't see now that site isn't suitable for residential property. There are people living directly across the street to the west. Behind the property to the east is agricultural research. To the north is residential. To the north west is the Fly Creek Preserve. To the south west is the rec center. To the direct south is a church. Nothing adjacent to this property is commercial. If you accept the proponents' logic, then anything in Fairhope appears to be fair game for commercial development. That would be a terrible, terrible, precedent to set.

Andy and Jennifer McGee said...

It's "less desirable" as residential because it is on Hwy 98, whose high traffic count makes it more palatable as commercial property.

Anonymous said...

More traffic signals in our future to hold things up ....

Anonymous said...

its across the street from the sport complex which = noise, noise, noise, noise = no peace, no peace, no peace, no peace and at time no sleep. Now are your eyes open?

Anonymous said...

There's about 25 homes in that area. 3 are houses and the rest are trailers. The 3 homes could always be used for another 50 or so trailers.

Anonymous said...

There are dozens of very expensive ($300k) homes that border the rec center property. The argument that the property in question, which is much further away than those mentioned above, is somehow suffering financially from its proximity to the rec center doesn't hold water. Homes listed on Zillow actually use that as a selling point.

Anonymous said...

So the critics site that approving this would turn Greeno Rd into another Airport Blvd. How does not rezoning the last 5% of Greeno Rd that is not commercial in Fairhope do that?

Anonymous said...

On Zillow at this moment the most expensive home for sale in Colonial acres is $280k is 3 blocks away and has been on the market for 448 days, can't sell, wonder why? The properties to be rezoned are all just across the street.

Anonymous said...

Let's approve another 500 "luxury'" apartments right on 98. That will really improve Fairhope and its schools. Better start hiring more police and fire personel now.

Anonymous said...

The citizens and government of Fairhope just finished off a multi-year public process to determine where we want to go with Fairhope. The Comp Plan is a result of that. This proposal is inconsistent with that effort. To understand why this "last 5%" is important to some people you can read the hundreds of public comments that aided in the development of the Comp Plan. If anybody wants to deviate from the Comp Plan, I would expect to hear some over riding need. The only need I can see is that the owners may slightly increase their profit margin. While it may cause neighbors to lose value in their property, I don't blame them for asking; it's well within their rights to ask. But I would be disappointed in the government if it granted the request. Otherwise, what's the point of the Comp Plan? Why waste money and time?

Anonymous said...

If you're on Zillow, look at the value of homes surrounding the rec center. They average roughly $300k (some much much more) and they're not for sale. Wonder why?

Anonymous said...

None of those homes front hwy 98

Anonymous said...

The city of Fairhope issues dozens variances to the Comp Plan every year. It is a guide at best and ignored by the well connected. The outcome of the Triangle property may well be repeated.

Anonymous said...

I've got 2 acres with a house on Greeno Rd zoned residential. Bring your $300k, you got a deal, just contact the realtor on the sign.

Anonymous said...

Why did we spend all those thousands of dollars on consultants for the Comprehensive Plan, if they're not going to pay any attention to it???

Anonymous said...

The consultants and all these never ending studies are part of the Floral arrangements around town to fool, appease and control. And, it works.

Anonymous said...

It looks like a good project now and ought to be approved but do not be surprised when it is sold and new owners come back time and again seeking changes to it.........

Anonymous said...

hope they do not put in a used car lot like someone did on south greeno.

Anonymous said...

The no drive-thru addition ruled out pharmacies.

Anonymous said...

Our current older generation in charge spends money on a plan they change on a regular basis to suit the needs of those that contribute to the politicians. This plan makes a section of the older generation happy because they have a plan for the future, a future they will never see.

Does anyone else not see the humor in this?

We have a chance to vote them out of office soon.

Anonymous said...

Fairhope avenue all the way out to 181 will b the next to get destroyed by strip mallss.