Proposed Daphne PUD raises questions

By Cliff McCollum
Posted 2/15/17

Developers for a proposed planned unit development at the corner of Highway 181 and County Road 64 spoke with Daphne City Council members last week, as questions were raised about how the development …

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Proposed Daphne PUD raises questions

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Developers for a proposed planned unit development at the corner of Highway 181 and County Road 64 spoke with Daphne City Council members last week, as questions were raised about how the development would impact the surrounding community.

Daniel and Craig Dyas appeared before the council at a public hearing on behalf of Joseph A. Allegri Jr. properties to discuss their plan for the PUD, a 42.8 acre site which would include single-family homes, patio homes, townhouses, multi-family units, retail space and some retail areas with living spaces above them.

Craig said developing that area in the right way was important to him and his family, as they had been residents in the area for more than 100 years.

“Two of my great grandfathers came here and settled in the late 1800s, early 1900s,” Craig said. “It’s contingent upon us to do the right thing.”

Daniel said the village concept they were proposing for the site would be modeled after an Italian village and would focus on creating a small community within the development.

“We want it to be walkable,” Daniel said. “We’re focused on smart growth. We think it’s the right way to grow our community and our county.”

The PUD was brought to the council without a true recommendation from the city’s planning commission, as the commission did not have enough voting members present during the hearing the PUD was scheduled for.

Daphne Community Development Director Adrienne Jones said the Planning department would honestly like to see more details about the project before moving forward.

“I would say more details would be useful and helpful to staff so that the vision expressed can be fully manifested,” Jones said. “I think it would also give the council some comfort in the product that would be created in the future.”

Some nearby residents seemed skeptical of the project, giving their concerns about numerous issues associated with a development of that scale.

Marissa Rennaker, a resident of the nearby Chamberlain Trace subdivision, said she feared the council didn’t have enough information to make their decision.

“The site plan is missing key elements and it looks like multi-family disguised as a PUD,” Rennaker said. “I don’t know how y’all are supposed to make an informed decision without some of this information.”

Stephanie Middleton said her mother lives near the proposed PUD and already has an issue with flooding at her place. Middleton worried even more development would only further increase that problem.

“We can’t take any more water,” Middleton said. “We have got to be very, very careful of the concrete footprint we put there.”

Council members questioned the developers if they would be willing to go back before the planning commission for further review.

The council could decide to approve the pre-zoning as it currently stands or push the matter back to the planning commission, actions that could likely come at an upcoming council meeting.