Neighbors oppose proposed zoning change

Published 11:56 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Supporters and opponents of a proposed zoning ordinance amendment that would allow a business in what is now a residential section of East Three Notch Street spoke to the Andalusia City Council Tuesday night.

Sharyn and Cam Smith have petitioned the city to change property at the corner of East Three Notch and Roselane Drive from R-1 to B-1. Mrs. Smith plans to build and operate a State Farm business there.

Andalusia Planning and Development director Andy Wiggins explained that the city changed to corridor zoning, it allowed for businesses in that area, but the businesses would be subject to higher standards.

“This zoning carries a little bit more architectural standards,” he said. “The owners have to submit building plans and a site development plan.”

The owners would be required to erect buffers from residential neighbors, and to landscape the property, he said.

Wiggins said the site plan submitted by the Smiths includes an office that looks like a house, and parking for nine vehicles on the Roselane Drive side of the property.

Cam Smith addressed the council during its workshop session and said the proposed project looks like a home.

“My wife specifically did not want a metal building with a glass front,” he said. “We want it to look nice, to be good neighbors, and keep it well maintained.”

The property would have a sign, he said, adding that it would be lighted, but low profile; not elevated.

A rendering of the office building proposed for 1500 E. Three Notch St. if a zoning change is approved.

A rendering of the office building proposed for 1500 E. Three Notch St. if a zoning change is approved.

Herb and Lisa Riedel, who live in the residential section of East Three Notch, also attended the workshop and Herb Riedel said he and other neighbors oppose the proposed rezoning.

“We live about a block from where this lot is located,” Riedel said. “Once I realized that this was in the works, I talked to some of the neighbors. A number of people I talked to, share concern about businesses encroaching into area of East Three Notch that is now residential.

“I have no concern personally about Mr. or Mrs. Smith and their intentions to have an attractive facility and maintain it well,” he said.

“As a resident and citizen and taxpayer, I believe this is not good for my property value,” Riedel said. “If we are going to have zoning, let’s keep it residential.

Two other neighbors also attended the council meeting, but did not speak. Each side will have another chance to speak before the council votes on the issue at its Nov. 5 meeting. State law requires that ordinances and amendments to ordinances have two readings before being voted upon, unless a governing body votes unanimously to suspend the rules.