PowerSouth zoning request fails

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 12, 2011

The City of Andalusia’s Planning Commission took no action on a request by PowerSouth to rezone property in the edge of Bellwood subdivision after residents spoke against the request in a public hearing last night.

PowerSouth owns two lots in the subdivision currently zoned residential and asked that the zoning be changed to B-1. Approximately 25 residents of the subdivision spoke against the request. Planning Commission chairman Sammy Hogg and commission member Joe Armstrong, both of whom work for PowerSouth, stated they would recuse themselves from the vote; however, Hogg ran the public hearing and Armstrong joined Pete Stone in pitching the company’s plans. The utility company planned to build a new administrative building on property including the two lots and property at 2027 East Three Notch Street already zoned for business. Stone and Armstrong promised a decorative fence on the perimeter and vegetation that would provide a buffer for the residential area. There would be a rear entrance from Gardent Street, they said, but it would not be a regularly-used entrance.

Holly Krudop, Arlene Nettles, Riley Taylor, Herb Carlisle and Billy Tadlock were among those who spoke against the proposal.

Taylor, whose forebears helped develop the subdivision, said if the measure were approved, it would detract from the neighborhood atmosphere of Bellwood.

“Bellwood is one of the first planned, structured neighborhoods in Andalusia,” Taylor said. “It was there before PowerSouth was on Hwy. 29. It was designed to be a peaceful community life in a neighborhood setting.”

Taylor said if the request were approved, there would be an increase in traffic and a struggle to maintain the neighborhood.

“I appreciate the need for growth,” he said. “But this was not designed to be a business district.”

Planning Commission members Will Sconiers, Jackie Woods, Mike Best and Earl Johnson spoke against the proposal, with Sconiers and Woods stressing that the company needed to be a “good neighbor” and offer something more assuring for residents of the subdivision.

The issue died for lack of a motion.