Sunday, December 4, 2016

UPDATED: Major Fairhope Subdivison Expansions Delayed

Fairhope, Alabama

(2) These applications will come up again at the January planning commission meeting.
(3) A city gas department source says a natural gas line was run out to the development.

Fairhope Falls on Hwy 104 at Fish River


At its last meeting, the Planning Commission delayed approval of additional phases of three major residential subdivison developments that would add 147 lots to developments already underway -- to allow time to review utility service capacity.

(The city's building official recently estimated over 400 lots are already approved, city-wide.)

In the case of Fairhope Falls (click) phases two and three (67 lots) located east of town in the planning jurisdiction on Hwy 104 at Fish River, the capacity of the water supply was in question.
Old Battles expansion

A water line installed about 8 years ago from the city's tank next to Walmart by the development's previous owners was not the right size (12" vs. 16") and  new flow model tests are required.

In the cases of the Greenbriar phase three located along S. Hwy 181 (30 lots, west of Quail Creek Villas) and Old Battles Place phase three (43 lots west of Huntington Woods, off of Twin Beech Rd)  -- sewage lift station capacity issues need to be studied.

The proposals are expected to be discussed again at tomorrow's regular December Planning Commission meeting under "old business."


Hwy 104
A large home is now under construction there by national home builder D. R. Horton, but the original plan was approved in about 2007 by Fairhope's planning commission: that developer was forced into foreclosure during the Great Recession and the property lay dormant for many years - click.

About 1 1/2 years ago, the town of Silverhill annexed Hwy 104 right of way west to Langford Road -- and then-mayor Kant told the Times that town would exercise planning and policing authority for about a quarter mile in every direction from the highway -- click.

Accordingly, the building permit for the new home under construction there today was issued by Silverhill not Fairhope; the county has some jurisdiction there as well.
Fairhope Falls Phase One

No one could explain to the Times why the current expansion plans are not being considered by Silverhill's Planning Commission, since they are issuing the building permits.

Planning Department Head Jonathan Smith, Planning Commission Chairman Lee Turner, and Council President Burrell said they were never consulted about the changes of jurisdiction; police chief Petties said he was though.

Former Mayor Kant told the Times the changes were made because Silverhill "needed more revenue"; the issue was never discussed during any public meeting.

According to county records, the city of Fairhope is to provide water service but Baldwin County Sewer and Riviera Utilities the sewage and electric.

Apparently, natural gas will not be needed. (Update: a city gas department source says a line was run out to the development)

Old Battles Place's Twin Beech Rd. entrance


Anonymous said...

So does this mean that Fairhope Falls will not be using City of Fairhope water and sewer services and that Silverhill is handling these issues? I am confused and look forward to further information.

Anonymous said...

Then how can Silverhill issue permits for homes that must use Fairhope water and sewer systems? If Fairhope's system can't support Fairhope subdivisions, then how can Silverhill permit w/o Fairhope approval?

Publisher said...

We have not been able to get an answer or how city planning regulations are to be enforced if the development is no longer in the city's police jurisdiction.

Also, according to online data filed with the county, the city of Fairhope only provides water: sewer is by Baldwin County Sewer and electric by Riviera.

Apparently the homes will not use natural gas.

Anonymous said...

What a train wreck this is becoming! Thank heaven that we have a new Mayor and, mainly, new City Council. It appears that the prior Mayor/Council were pretty clueless. Let's hope that our new Administration gets on top of this in a good way for Fairhope! Thanks for reporting!

Anonymous said...

Shes in over her head. Burrel is ethically challenged and Boon is , well hes Boon.

Anonymous said...

Underestimate Mayor Wilson at your own peril. She may be a political novice but she is surrounding herself with some highly qualified people and seeking their counsel. A lame duck Mayor Kant would have been a disaster for this town.

Roger said...

That is exactly what we are worried about. Her know it all advisors leading her astray.
Like Rasputin did to the czar.

Publisher said...

Update: A city natural gas department source advises a natural gas line was installed out to the development. We could not find reference to it on the new plat.

Anonymous said...

"That is exactly what we are worried about. Her know it all advisors leading her astray."

No, what you are afraid of us the revelation of incompetence and sweetheart deals that have been done under previous administrations. She is seeking counsel of highly qualified people who have lived other places and done bigger things than plant flowers.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? How crooked was Kant? I am thrilled that, at whatever cost it may be, we have a new Utilities director and forensic accountants to unravel this web of mystery from Kant's tenure.
Thanks to Karin Wilson and all of her team for shining a spotlight into the swamp!

Anonymous said...

Give Mayor Wilson a chance.

Anonymous said...

Yeah,but it would be mean spirited to start firing people willy nilly who have families at home and bills to pay just because some of her supporters do not like them.

Anonymous said...

At least I was not the only resident confused about the change in police jurisdiction! We had been quite pleased with being under Fairhope Police and Fire districts. Imagine my surprise when returning from a weekend trip, I notice my home had magically moved into the Metro of Silver Hill!! After several calls to research, I finally gave up after NO ONE either could or would explain how it changed. In hind sight, I should have asked King Kant!

Lori said...

Are you sure it's serviced by Riviera? I live out that way, and we are all under Baldwin EMC.

Please remember, or know, that we in Fairhope's county area outside of city limits, though we drink Fairhope water and go to Fairhope schools, we cannot vote in a Fairhope mayoral or city council election. And yet Fairhope tells us what to do with our land.

Publisher said...

Yes, we are sure it says Riviera Utilities for electric on the plat.

If you live outside city limits to the east, the city of Fairhope has no influence over what you do with your land ... the county either since there is no zoning there.

There are some limited regulations if any landowner should choose to subdivide their property ... into many lots as Fairhope Falls did.

Anyone who asks is always allowed to annex into the city to participate in elections ... but your property would then become zoned and you would then pay an additional 2% property tax.