Friday, June 30, 2017

Updated: New Planning Commission To Tackle Old Issues

Fairhope, Alabama

Update (2): As of July 17, the city's website lists the following commission members:

  • Lee Turner - Chairman
  • Rebecca Bryant
  • Charles Johnson
  • Dr. Ralph Thayer
  • Richard Peterson, P.E.
  • Hollie MacKellar    
  • David Martin
  • Jimmy Conyers, City Council Liaison

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post stated that Catherine Hall Kiser was a member of the planning commission: she is not -- Rebecca Bryant, another local architect was appointed beginning in May. The Times apologizes for our mistake.

Updated: During the July 3rd Planning Commission meeting, the 'Park Place PUD' on N. Greeno Road was recommended to the city council for approval -- but the Edwards Avenue intersection rezoning to B-1 was not.

New Greeno Road development proposed


Additional requests to rezone residential property on Greeno Rd. are scheduled to be heard by the city's Planning and Zoning Commission Monday, the majority now appointees of mayor Wilson.

Members Charles Johnson, Ralph Thayer, Richard Peterson (employee rep.), Rebecca Bryant*, and David Martin were appointed by Wilson; Lee Turner, George Roberbs and Hollie MacKellar by former mayor Kant.  (*Bryant was appointed in May but we do not know if she is still on the commission)

Jimmy Conyers is the city council's current representative.

S.E. Civil Engineering is presenting the requests on behalf of the property owners.

(The city council must give final approval to any zoning changes approved by the commission.)


North Greeno road
The first is a request to rezone two parcels across from Volanta Park (one now zoned R-4 and occupied by a trailer park; the other is R-1 with a single family residence on it) to a planned unit development (PUD) to be called 'Park Place.'

Owners of the trailer park and adjacent parcel have come before the commission "informally" several times over the years requesting commercial zoning; but have always been told to bring back more specific plans for the commission to evaluate (ie. for a PUD).

Last year, another owner to the north set a precedent when the  'Hayek PUD' was approved (click) by the commission and then the city council by a 3-0 vote: a mix of residential and commercial uses were approved there.

 At that time council president Burrell referred the the road as a "commercial corridor."

From the city's zoning ordinance:
  1. PUD Planned Unit Development: This district is intended to encourage innovative development that meets comprehensive plan goals and is tailored to the unique constraints and conditions of a particular site. This district allows flexibility in uses, designs, and building layouts as opposed to other zoning districts to better serve community needs. See Article V., Section A for more detailed standards regarding this district. 
This property drains into the Fly Creek drainage basin.


Owners of the residentially-zoned lot at the northwest corner of the Edwards Avenue intersection are seeking rezoning to B-1, a local neighborhood shopping district.

Some permitted B-1 uses would include: limited retail (grocery and general merchandise), personal services (dry cleaner/laundry), restaurants if ok'd by the Board of Adjustments.

If approved, that could set a precedent for similar requests all along the highway to the north.

B-1 Local Shopping District: This district is intended to provide for limited retail convenience goods and personal service establishments in residential neighborhoods and to encourage the concentration of these uses in one (1) location for each residential neighborhood rather than in scattered sites occupied by individual shops throughout a neighborhood. Restaurants in the B-1 zoning district may be permitted only on appeal to the Board of Adjustments and may be subject to special conditions. Drive thru restaurants shall not be permitted in the B-1 zoning district. 

Edwards Avenue intersection


Beginning in about 2001, the city's 'village model' comprehensive growth plan keeps north Greeno  as residential zoning, reflecting citizens' concerns that the city's main entrance road not be commercialized and turned into another 'Airport Blvd.' (like in Mobile) or 'Hamburger Hill.' (US 98 in north Daphne).

Numerous exceptions have been granted over the years however: commercial development has gradually crept northward (and southward) along the highway..

Comprehensive plans are required by state law, but are not binding in and of themselves: only gives guidance to the city's governing bodies.

Both sites are already being advertised for sale: the trailer park by the Fairhope Realty Group and the Edwards Avenue by White Spunner -- which is also advertising the previously-approved 'Hayek PUD.'

(One planning commissioner, Hollie MacKellar, is a former agent for the FRG, now with Jason Will.)

All deliberations of a quorum of the Planning Commission must be held in public, to conform with state open meeting law.

North  Greeno Road

Volanta Park at lower left


Anonymous said...

Editor, any thoughts on the 75+acres at 181 and Fairhope? is that still a potential Home Depot or has that disappeared? thank you

Anonymous said...

NO commercial development should be allowed in this area.PERIOD but we all know that the mayor and friends will somehow change this.

Anonymous said...

"neighborhood shopping district" LOL. Oh thank goodness, I was worried they might put in another soulless strip mall, but the developer assured us it's going to be a "neighborhood shopping district" so I feel much better..... I know it's a just a game developers play to get ordinances changed, and I don't blame them for doing it, but it feels so insulting to the people and disingenuous to the planning of our city.

Publisher said...

We were told the parcel at the northeast corner of Fairhope/181 may be too small for another big box store ... but there have been rumors something big may happen at the 104/181 intersection ... since 181 north of there is to be four-laned beginning later this year ... .

Anonymous said...

There Burrel's friends too. He want to rezone it for Them.

Anonymous said...

Campaign donations at work.
Ain't the American political system great?

Anonymous said...

I hope those opposed to these rezoning requests attend the planning commission meeting on Monday. It is entirely unacceptable for Wilson, her administration, and the city council to ignore the very issue this past election was about---MANAGING RESPONSIBLE GROWTH!!!

Mark Randall said...

I heard a Fred's was going in around there.

Anonymous said...

Time to face the truth that is a commercial corridor!

Anonymous said...

Yes, soon North Greeno will look just like Hwy 59 in Foley near Tanger Outlets. And like Hamburger Hill in Daphne. There are creative ways to prevent this, of course. This has been proven in sustainable, thriving communities throughout the nation. It does take creativity, resolve, and long-term thinking. Think there's enough of that in current leadership positions? I hope so.

We should protect and enhance the walkable, quaint vibe of ALL parts of Fairhope, not just downtown. Will we retain our unique qualities? Or just sell out to the developers like everyone else?

Anonymous said...

"We should protect and enhance the walkable, quaint vibe of ALL parts of Fairhope, not just downtown. Will we retain our unique qualities? Or just sell out to the developers like everyone else?"

Well said, thank you.

Anonymous said...

just about any thing would be better
than the trashy trailer park ther now.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, our elected leaders always sell out to developers......they get rich while making their out of town developer buddies rich....then they all move on. I hope that the new planning commission is better, but I have not seen anything that merits praise from Wilson's other hires. What a major disappointment she has turned out to be. Still.....let's see what this new PC does and wish them well.

Anonymous said...

Lighten up people! It is a commercial corridor.
Relax it is not the end of the world!

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster.......your type of ignorance is why the Panama City to Orange Beach corridor (including FH) is so full of trailer trash develpments. Fairhope should not allow any developments to go through w/Io putting an ankle tracker on the the developer. Just look at the Fairhope Library, etc........our City Council loves the 'bling' from those who 'build and repair'........however, the repairs never end.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Jack and Karen finally found something they agree on.

Anonymous said...

I thought there was a moratorium?

Anonymous said...

I want to know why there are only three parcels of land between Gayfer Avenue and County Road 44 that are still residential? I mean - come on - who can live on a 4 lane highway that the road count in 2015 was over 25,000 a day? Some of this land has been owned since Greeno Road was a two lane gravel road. It's not like it was bought for speculation. Maybe the fine citizens of Fairhope would like to buy it to make it a park/nature trail like was done for the Dyess property.

Hank said...

"Trailer trash"? What makes you the authority to judge people you don't even know? Just because someone lives in a trailer, doesn't make them "trailer trash". Some people just don't feel they have to spend every dime they have to impress others like most of you moving here. Where do you want the people that fix your car, mow your grass, serve your meals, clean the parks, and bag your groceries to live? This trailer park was here long before you moved here. I happen to know folks that live here and they'd give you the shirt off their back to help you.. unlike the rest of you who are only concerned about yourselves. Do not define a man by his dwelling.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell us who owns the trailer park land?

Publisher said...

CDA Llc. owns the trailer park property according to county land records ... .

Anonymous said...

Who are the names behind CDA Llc?

Anonymous said...

I bet there's a Boone in the woods somewhere.

Publisher said...

CDA. Llc: Jonathan Carrigan and Justin Chappel owners -- according to public corporation records.

Anonymous said...

Owners of the undeveloped properties are asking commercial prices for residential lots. There are people currently living along Greeno in houses and apartments. Drive around and see for yourself. And there are plenty of homes that are only one lot off Greeno.

Parks or nature trails along Greeno is a great idea. It could be a buffer with residential behind it. And it would align with the Comprehensive Plan.

Anonymous said...

Cowards! The property at Edwards and Greeno falls within the comprehensive plan!

Anonymous said...

"Comprehensive plans are required by state law, but are not binding in and of themselves: only gives guidance to the city's governing bodies."

Here you go Mr. Murphy. A comprehensive plan is not written in stone.

Anonymous said...

Why is a realtor on the planning commission? Isn't that a conflict of interest? Realtors are usually MLS.