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Vote on rezoning for proposed Pike Road subdivision tabled

Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 10:59 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 13, 2022 at 11:11 PM CDT
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PIKE ROAD, Ala. (WSFA) - The Pike Road Town Council decided to table the vote on a zoning request change for a proposed 1,091 home subdivision near Vaughn and Wallahatchie Road.

The Town Council said they needed more time for discussion before signing off on rezoning the project from what is now agricultural land after a passionate public hearing Monday night.

The Town Council will meet again on June 22 where they hope to vote “yes” or “no” to the rezoning change.

Dozens of residents showed out to speak against the housing development Monday. Residents pointed to concerns over the projects size and the subsequent school overcrowding and traffic congestion the subdivision could bring.

“The community is not ready for this,” said resident Willette Vaughn, who pointed to a petition she said has 1,188 signatures against the rezoning. “Once we do this there is no taking it back.”

“I am attorney and I represent municipalities for the last 25 years and every federal district in the state and I can tell you from experience cities get in trouble when they grow too fast,” said one man who spoke.

“Pike Road will live or die by the schools and I’m pleading with you to not approve any new housing development until you can answer some of the questions we are all opposing,” said another resident.

The large subdivision has drawn criticism from residents for months.

The Pike Road Planning Commission voted 5-2 in favor of the zoning change request in May after developer Lowder New Homes reduced the project by 180 units. They have also promised to add more green space and trails and only build 50 homes per year over the course of an approximately 20-year project. Monday night they agreed to pay $100,000 for traffic flow improvements at the intersection of Vaughn and Wallahatchie.

“The beauty of tonight is that is what a great town does, is you have a place where people’s voices can be heard and I think this council will take things very seriously as they decide what comes next and what’s the right choice for the town of Pike Road,” said Mayor Gordon Stone.

A traffic study was also conducted by Lowder. It suggests widening Vaughn road to five lanes, but that decision would ultimately be made by the Alabama Department of Transportation.

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