West Fairview plan officially in place

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It may still look like a dream on paper, but it's one step closer to becoming reality.

"A lot of people struggle for a long time and never get to this point," says Montgomery Planning and Development Director, Ken Groves.

He says approval of this plan by the Planning and Development Commission gives the green light for an idea similar to the one used for downtown re-development.

It gives an urban feel to the part of West Fairview Avenue between Court Street and I-65.  The plan is complete with new sidewalks, buildings closer to the street, more trees and even a police sub-station.

"Right now it is really an eyesore. It's not an asset to the city at all," says Montgomery resident, Dr. Bill Osterhoff.

He has lived in Montgomery for 25 years and says West Fairview's transformation is much needed.

"I think it's one of the best things that's happened to Montgomery."

If you drive down West Fairview Avenue now, you might not see any new changes yet, but city planners say it's only a matter of time since work on the stretch is already well underway.

"The streetscape itself, we've already started on. We have a contract with a firm to help do the design for that. We use a lot of the ALDOT funds for that," says Groves.

He says nothing will happen overnight.

"Anywhere from 3-5 to maybe as much as ten years to get the whole thing done."

Still Fairview Avenue property owners like K.T. Brown want to make sure the city follows through.

"I know it's going to happen. They've made too many promises. Once you make one promise, you might can back out, but when you make as many promises as the city has made...you've got to do something."

Approval from the planning department gives the city guidelines and control over what goes into the Fairview area.

Businesses that are there now aren't required to rebuild or change their look, although leaders are working with them to set up a remodeling scheme.

Groves says any new business wanting to come in will have to conform to the plan guidelines.

The city council still has to approve the re-zoning portion of the plan.

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