One step closer

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Subdivision progresses toward approval

By Laurel Jackson Callaway

Opelika Observer

Wyndham Gates subdivision, located on Gateway Drive, is one step closer to completing development of its final phase.

At Tuesday’s voting session, the Opelika Planning Commission made the recommendation to the city council to approve revisions to the subdivision’s master plan.

Final approval by the city council is mandatory, according to planning Director Jerry Kelly, because there is a request for substantial change to the original proposal.  The PUD master plan was first approved in 2005.

The recommendation came after lengthy debate at the September 16th work session.

The specific part of the property in discussion, which is located on the western side of the development, initially called for cluster homes, townhomes and a pool.  In 2006, however, the developer made the request to double the lot sizes and build single family homes instead.

The same year, the city’s engineering department approved and inspected the changes being asked for and the city council discussed it at a work sessions meeting.  However, for reasons unknown to the developer or the planning commission, the city council never voted to approve the revisions.

The greatest concern to both the developer and the planning commission is that all infrastructure to accommodate larger lots has already been laid in the ground.  It would be incredibly costly to not approve the plan changes.

At the work sessions meeting, Commission member David Canon asked if the decision for recommendation to the city council would affect any of the surrounding property and its owners.  Director Kelly assured it would not.

“In a situation like this, wouldn’t we want to accommodate what they are trying to do if it doesn’t interfere with anyone who already owns property out there?” Canon argued.

City council will likely vote on the master plan revisions next month. If passed, the developer will have to return to the planning commission for preliminary and final plat approval.

The commission also:

-approved preliminary and final plats from subdivisions on 1 lot on South Street, 5 lots to 1 lot on Frederick Avenue, and 2 lots on Fox Run Avenue.

-approved request for use of parking spots in right of way for Auto Sales, LLC on 2nd Avenue.

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