Peachtree rezoning approved

By Jessica Vaughn / jessica@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 12/5/17

FOLEY – During the Dec. 5 council, the request to rezone Peachtree Avenue from an R-1A to an R-1B was approved. Originally the property owner requested to change zoning to R-1C, but after strong …

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Peachtree rezoning approved

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FOLEY – During the Dec. 5 council, the request to rezone Peachtree Avenue from an R-1A to an R-1B was approved. Originally the property owner requested to change zoning to R-1C, but after strong concerns from the public who live in the area, they came back to compromise with an R-1B zoning.

“The Planning Commission has recommended it to the council not to accept it as an R-1C, but as an R-1B,” said councilman Ralph Hellmich.

The compromise allows for more density, but will still fit in with the overall plans for the area.

“R-1B will allow 2.3 houses per acre, so it fits at the lower end of the comprehensive plan,” said Hellmich.

During the Nov. Planning Commission meeting, many locals who live near or on Peachtree voiced concerns about the number of houses that would be going into the new subdivision, which Ercil Godwin of Sawgrass Consulting, speaking on behalf of the property owner, addressed at the Dec. 5 meeting.

Godwin states that when taking into consideration the property area that the developers must immediately sit aside for the city’s required greenspace, storm water drainage, and right of ways, they are left with near 53 lots they can develop.

“The concern a lot of people had in the Planning Commission was small houses, and a lot of them,” said Godwin. “[With the new rezoning] the buildable area is about a 65x65 foot block, so that’s a pretty substantial house. Just 60x60 would be about a 3,600-square foot house. It’s no small house going there.”

Another major concern by citizens residing in the area is traffic, and what another subdivision will do to increase those numbers.

“Years ago, when I first moved here, the area was small and there wasn’t hardly any traffic on that road,” said Douglas Wyatt, a resident of Peachtree Avenue. “But now you go out to the road to do anything, and it’s just traffic going back and forth, back and forth … It’s just going to increase all the traffic.”

To combat the rising traffic numbers, the City of Foley is already working on a Fern Avenue extension, which they hope will help mitigate traffic in the area. Once the extension is built, there will be another outlet on Peachtree for drivers to take. The council hopes to bid on the project in February, which could put construction starting in the spring of 2018.

With approval from the council, the developers of the Peachtree property can now submit plans to the Planning Commission for final approval.