Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Big New East Fairhope Development Approved

Fairhope, Alabama

The Verandas (north is up)


The Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the application by well-known local developer/realtor Trae Corte for 'The Verandas',  a 214 lot 'Village Subdivision' at the SW corner of the intersection of  Hwy 104 and Lawrence Road in east Fairhope (east of the '3 Circle Church' and outside of city limits).

Hwy 104 east of 181
The development will be in phases on the 263 acres with 208 residential and six commercial lots at the west end along 104: areas are dedicated for green space, wetlands and "future development" as well.

Lot areas will vary in size with none under 8,500 square feet: typically a minimum 15,000 sq. ft/ lot is required for un-zoned county property like this -- but because this is a Village Subdivision the normal standards for density do not apply in this case, according to planning director Smith.

There are to be three entrances from Hwy 104 and two from Lawrence Road.

The location is slightly east of the "village node" indicated on the city's comprehensive growth plan map at the 104/181 intersection; but not significantly Smith said.

Corte requested two changes to the plan he had submitted:

1. The road across the wetland area would be deleted and replaced by a walking boardwalk instead and another access entrance to the eastern-most lots added from Hwy 104 (at lot #104).

2. If the state and the county do not allow sidewalks along Hwy 104 and Lawrence Roads (insufficient right-of-way), they will be constructed along the edge of the development itself instead.


Citizens who live nearby worried about infrastructure, drainage and traffic issues, and the "price point" of the homes to be sold there. Corte said drainage and traffic studies/plans would be completed as required -- and the price point would be on the "high end" from $300K to $700K:  to be completed in 5 or 6 phases over years.

Trae Corte
Fairhope resident Bobby Green insisted a proper tree survey be done to protect the many large heritage trees on the property (live oaks, mostly) according to the city's tree ordinance -- but was told by Smith the tree ordinance usually does not apply in cases like this outside city limits: superseded instead by tree/landscaping sections of the subdivision regulations (he was to check into it further to make sure).

Corte assured protection of the valuable oaks is a high priority, a reason he purchased the property.

Approval contingent upon an acceptable traffic study/plan, drainage and landscaping plan, appropriate buffers where commercial meets residential, sidewalks along Hwy 104 and Lawrence Road (or appropriate substitutes), and all other requirements of applicable subdivision/building regulations met.


Corte advised that he would not be able to meet the subdivision regulation's Low Impact Development (LID) drainage standards (10 of 15 listed methods implemented), because site soil conditions/topography would not permit it: A waiver would need to be granted as has been done in other cases.

He said he would also need a waiver for the 35' maximum building height standard.

(The property is not contiguous to city limits, so annexation is not possible at this time.)


Anonymous said...

Another traffc nightmare.

By the way, when the church lets out on sunday that cop makes us stop and wait and wait and wait ... .

Anonymous said...

'Corte' ' unanimously approved'
'Six commercial lots'
'35 foot height variance needed'

Hello big box stores!
Good thing the new mayor was going to change the way things are approved here.

Anonymous said...

First of all, the new mayor has not yet taken office.
This is the same P&Z commission that we've had.
And lastly, once again concern from local citizens was ignored.
This is why we have new leadership in Fairhope.

The next house cleaning? P&Z.

Ricky said...

LOL at the "tree ordinance". People in the city limits sure get uptight and nosey about what we do outside of the city limits. Some things are not of your business to worry about.

Anonymous said...

The new administration has not yet taken office. This was done on Mayor Kant's watch with his Planning Commissioners' approvals.

Anonymous said...

She's not our Mayor yet. Can't do a thing about it right now. Notice how this was shoved through before the new Mayor and Council took office.

Anonymous said...

This wouldn't be a problem if the state would finish the hwy 181 widening project that was originally supposed to be completed by now. Instead they spent our BP money on their inefficient general budget so that won't happen any time soon! That intersection has to have turning lanes to accommodate the traffic increase. It's already dysfunctional during peek hours.

Anonymous said...

There is a huge concern among those of us who have owned nice, well-maintained homes in Fairhope that, with so many new developments, our houses are becoming devalued and labeled as fixer-uppers. This is something leaders MUST take into consideration as overbuilding is happening. Big picture is more than just stopping development. It has to include protection of existing property values and no one is talking about this.

Anonymous said...

So, mayor wilson is asking the entire planning commission to resign?
That may not be such a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

poor little fairhope, the sky is falling.

Anonymous said...

A few bitter folks posting here seem to
resent Fairhope and its high property values as well as high end subdivisions like Rock Creek and Sandy Ford. We need more high end subdivisions to retain overall property values and to maintain the high end character and charm of Fairhope. Of course the sour grapes folks brand this as being elite. Well guess what? Elite in many places is something folks strive for.

Anonymous said...

This one does not look so bad. At least it is not more generic Horton homes.

Anonymous said...

Where are these kids going to go to school? We have no room now!

Anonymous said...

This is the same developer that sold numerous lots to Horton homes in Bellaton and Summer Lake. Let The Buyer Beware.

Anonymous said...

Fairhope's founders were not high end folks ... wanted it to be affordable for everyone .... hence the single tax colony ... .

Anonymous said...

Corte gets approved and others from out of town gets turned down. HOW FREAKING UNUSUAL. GOOD OLE BOY NETWORK HARD AT WORK

Henry George said...

Fairhope's founders were not high end folks, true. Their ambitions, however, included much more than affordable housing. The founders valued quality of life and protection of natural resources, both of which have made Fairhope a desirable city to live, and exactly the reasons why development of the magnitude this city has experienced must be tempered.

Anonymous said...

Horton doesn't develop subdivisions. They either buy developments that failed or after a certain percentage of lots are built out, they go in and buy the remaining lots, thus devaluing what is already there.
I am sure Horton will end up here too, perhaps with their Emerald Homes Division

Meghan Battles said...

Agreed! I waited for 7 minutes last Sunday