Monday, November 30, 2015

Pecan Ridge Residents Want New Apartments Re-Zoned
By Catalina Trivino

About 160 government housing apartments are coming to McQueen Smith Road in Prattville. The proposed plan shows to get inside the neighborhood, you'd have to go in one of the three entryways -- two of those are within another neighborhood -- and residents living there say they're fighting to keep that from happening.

Stakes mark the entryway of future government housing on McQueen Smith Road. The first phase consists of 96 apartments. The rest will be built at a later date. And while there's no stopping construction on federal housing, residents who live in the Pecan Ridge neighborhood say there's a big problem...

"Right now we have a barrier between us and everything that's coming, but how long will this barriers be before it's just traffic car, after traffic car, after traffic," Said Dave Dunigan.

The plan shows their neighborhood will connect with the apartments through Dee Street and Heather Drive. That's because city ordinance says at least...

"Two entrances to a neighborhood," Said city councilman, Ray Boles. "And that's where the problem is looking with these apartments. But we are looking to over-ride the ordinance and turn it into a one way in and one way out of the apartment complex so we don't disrupt the flow."

Residents say they're also worried about undesirable people coming, which will lower their property values and increase crime. Until then, residents are pleading to keep the fences up....

"Traffic is just going to be horrible in here! We have kids out here who like to play and it's safe in the cauldesacs because there's not a lot of traffic!" Said Deborah Matthews.

"I asked the city council and the planning commission at our last meeting, 'would you put this type of development next to your neighborhood?' And everyone of them shook their head no," Said Rob Mayes.

Residents are asking the city to think twice about re-zoning the entryways -- they hope the planning commission considers using Cobbs Ford Road as its second entryway instead. Boles says it's a route he wants to push for.

The planning commission is set to meet Monday at 5:30 in the Doster Center to discuss alternate routes to get inside the neighborhood.The proposed plan will then be presented to the city council at its next meeting.