Loxley Planners schedule seperate work sessions

By Barbara Grider
Staff Writer
Posted 5/3/07

LOXLEY — During a work session prior to the regularly scheduled April 26 meeting, the commission discussed holding future work sessions two weeks prior to each monthly meeting.

The Board has been holding work sessions at 5 p.m. before the 6 …

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Loxley Planners schedule seperate work sessions


LOXLEY — During a work session prior to the regularly scheduled April 26 meeting, the commission discussed holding future work sessions two weeks prior to each monthly meeting.

The Board has been holding work sessions at 5 p.m. before the 6 p.m. meeting but noted that with the increase in development activity within the town’s planning jurisdiction, the members of the commission said they need more time to review the materials submitted by developers and set public hearings.

The work sessions will now be held the second Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m. Kenny Folsom, chairman of the commission, said if more work session time is needed, they can still hold a work session just prior to the meetings.

The new schedule with go into effect in May, with the work session planned for May 10.

The commission also agreed to recommend to the Loxley Town Council that fees charged by the town’s engineering firm for reviewing developer’s plans be passed along to the developers.

Jake Traweek, the town’s building inspector, who acts as liaison with the developers, told the board that those fees have been increasing with the increase of development within the town’s planning jurisdiction. He said most municipalities do not absorb those fees but pass them along to the developers.

During the regular meeting, a public hearing was held before preliminary plat approval for Halen Lake Estates Subdivision, a 50-lot development on 25 acres off Baldwin County 64 east.

Jason Devine, whose residence sits on five acres on Cabinet Shop Road, which will be surrounded by the subdivision, expressed his concerns to the commission, since his property will be surrounded by 16 lots of the development.

“We will have 16 new neighbors around us. Who wants five acres in the center of a subdivision? Our whole life is changing because of this,” he said, emotion evident in his voice. He said he wanted to know the sizes of the planned houses and if a privacy fence would be constructed.

The engineers representing the developers at the meeting said they could not tell him the exact sizes of the houses but that the lots will be “well above minimum lot size.”

Folsom told Devine that the commission would stipulate a privacy fence would be built and would even stipulate the construction of the fence to protect Divines property from construction dust, if he wanted them to do so.

Devine said, “We would like to request that.”

When the public hearing was opened for Charmont Subdivision, located on Baldwin County 66, north of Baldwin County 64, which is located in the county but within the Loxley planning jurisdiction, for preliminary plat approval, one resident asked to speak.

Ray Farmer, who owns 20 acres bordering one side of the development said he was concerned about landscaping, drainage and property values in the area.

“We’ve been there 57 years — farming. I’m not against it (the development) in any way whatsoever, but we have a farm and we have cattle and sometimes they raise dust and make noise. I was born in the woods but I guess I’ll die in the city,” he said, adding, “I would hate, after all these years, for someone to deprive me of my living,” he said.

Folsom said, “Baldwin County has been farming land for years and years. When people come in, they know that.”

When the public hearings were closed, before the commission voted on preliminary plat approval for Halen Lakes Estates, Folsom told the representatives of the developers, “I think it’s reasonable for the residents to know more about what to expect — what type of fence, landscaping and the size of the houses.”

Diane Burette, of the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission, who acts as a consultant on planning matters for Loxley, told the board, “Your subdivision regulations are minimum, so you can require more information by latter, stating what would be in the covenants (of the subdivision).”

At that point, the representatives of the developers asked that approval of the preliminary plat be tabled until the next planning commission meeting, saying more detailed information would be provided on the proposed development’s covenants and fencing.

The matter was then officially tabled until the May meeting.

The commission granted preliminary plat approval for Charmont Subdivision.

In other business, the board:

— Approved the re-subdivison of Lots A and 2 of Loxley Commercial Park

— Granted an extension for master plan and preliminary plat approval for Rosewood Subdivision.

— Approved the site plan for A&S Stone.