Commission hears complaints

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By Hannah Lester
hlester@opelikaobserver.com

The Lee County Commissioners heard an update, and complaints, during their meeting Monday night regarding an item they passed two weeks ago: preliminary plat approval for Island Point Estates.

The commission approved the preliminary plat approval for the new subdivision at their Nov. 30 meeting.

The new subdivision will be located adjacent to Lee Road 334 and Lee Road 338.

The first addition, which was approved on Nov. 30 as well, will be adjacent to Lee Road 334, Lee Road 340 and Lee Road 743.

County Engineer Justin Hardee said that the plat met the County requirements and that all property owners had been notified.

However, Monday night, the commissioners were scheduled to hear an update and several citizens attended to express frustration with the roadways near Island Point Estates.

“At the last commission meeting, the highway department brought forth Island Point Estates preliminary plat approval to the commission,” Hardee said, during Monday’s meeting. “Since that action, the Highway Department has received a number of phone calls and emails form concerned citizens.”

Hardee said that a major concern of nearby residents was that the 45 homes that will be added will unreasonably increase traffic.

“The Highway Department did look at those roads, Lee Road 334, 338, 339, 340 and 743 in that area,” he said. “We had discussions with the developer. Lee Road 338 is currently 16.5 feet wide, which is not, and does not meet the standards for the width that it would need to meet and we’ve told the developer contingency of his plat approval and final plat approval and before we would bring it to the commission for preliminary plat approval is that he would have to be willing to widen the roadway to 20 feet.”

The county has looked into the crash data on each of these roads, Hardee said, over the past five years.

“What were the crashes, what were the cause of the crashes, were the crashes caused by any roadway defects, was it driver error?” Hardee said, looking at what the data considers.

Lee Road 334 has had 16 crashes in the last five years, he said, nine in one spot.

“None of the 16 crashes indicated that there were roadway defects, and things that needed to be done that could have prevented the crash from a roadway standpoint,” Hardee said.

Janet Davis, who asked to speak regarding the subdivision, said that while she appreciated the efforts the county was taking, she still felt there were safety concerns.

“I am concerned, and I did express this to [Hardee], the Lee Road [334] and 340, at the blind spot, he expressed to me the traffic and the accidents and so forth, but I would just tell you that’s probably understated … It is really hazardous driving down that road.”

Davis said she is not opposed to the new subdivision but wants to ensure the roads are safe.

Melanie Vinyard shared a story about how her mother and another person in a vehicle were on the road near Po-Boy Landing (located near this area) and her mother was forced to jerk her car off the road, resulting in a flat tire.

“It concerns me, I’m going to be honest, to send my children down to my mother’s because they would travel on 334,” Vinyard said.

Other business:

The commission labeled the final plat approval for Eddins Creek Subdivision after complains from citizens.

The commission approved a request for maintenance of a paved road off Lee Road 18.

The commission voted to approve a high-risk rural road resolution.

The commission approved the roadway design for the Beauregard Recreation Park.

The commission approved revenue collection agreement renewals.

The commission approved a warrant resolution for 2013 refinancing.

The commission approved a COVID-19 funding allocation request for the Lee County Youth Development Center.

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