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Thursday, December 1, 2016

New Magnolia Avenue Project Proposed

Fairhope, Alabama



212 Magnolia Avenue and adjacent lots

BUILDING VARIANCES GRANTED

The city's Board of Adjustments unanimously approved variances to allow for a group of mixed-use (usually commercial businesses on the bottom floor and residences on top) buildings on several adjoining lots along Magnolia Avenue -- and the alleyway in the rear (Saxe Avenue).

James and Beverly Reid requested the usual 20' front building street setback requirement be cut to 10' for several adjacent lots they own there  -- to save three large live oak and one magnolia tree to be used as an "oak park" interior courtyard between the buildings.

Project architect Katherine Hall Kaiser said she actually lived in one of the existing homes there years ago, and the entire project will be designed around the "green space interior trees," with only one ingress and egress for cars, designed in a creole style similar to Mobile's De Tonti Square (click).


STAFF RECOMMENDED APPROVAL

Site plan, north is up
Planner Jonathan Smith recommended approval of the request because the topography of the site, saving the large trees, did create a hardship and preserving trees/green space is a priority for the city.

Several neighbors spoke who generally favored the plan, but a main concern was parking and an increase of traffic particularly on Magnolia Avenue; Smith said the 28 new off-street interior parking spaces would be more than usual number required, and other traffic issues should be taken to the city's Street and Traffic Committee or police department (ie. speeding on Magnolia).


MORE APPROVAL NEEDED

Complete plans will still need to be submitted to the Planning Commission and city council for final approval, and must "substantially comply" with the one at right.

The property is zoned B-2 (general business) but is just outside of the designated central business district (CBD).


James Reid


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's a creative use of the property. Kudos to the project proponents and the city.

Anonymous said...

the little streets can not handle much more traffic.

Anonymous said...

As long as khaki pants with pleats continue to be fashionable on the Gulf Coast, expect no progress.