The Mobile City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a rezoning to allow a 252-unit apartment complex to be built at the intersection College Lane South and Du Rhu Drive.
The plans were met with complaints from local residents and business representatives who had issues with a traffic study performed by Volkert Engineering. While Volkert and the city planning staff stand by the report that claims traffic would not be heavily impacted, those in opposition say the addition of about 480 vehicles would make the congestion problem much worse.
Georgia La Trace, a resident of an apartment building next to the proposed site, asked the council to table the rezoning until a new traffic study could be performed. She complained that the current traffic study was conducted during the summer months and didn’t take school traffic into consideration.
La Trace added with school traffic on Old Shell Road, vehicles can be stopped up to halfway down the I-65 service road. She also argued that there’s already enough development in the area with a shopping center and banks. La Trace also said she doesn’t want to see the wooded area where the proposed site sits disturbed.
Pat Covington, an office manager for Dr. Michael Lyons, spoke to councilors Tuesday and also sent a letter through email to Council President Gina Gregory. Like La Trace, Covington complained about the traffic problems the new development might cause in the area. To remedy the situation, she asked if the developers — IMS Development LLC — to move the planned complex’s main entrance from Du Rhu Drive to the I-65 service road.
Stephen Harvey, an attorney for the developers, told councilors there are two entrances planned already for the gated community, with the use of one reserved for residents. He added that the rezoning from B3 to B1 was downzoning and that the apartments were also allowed in a B3 zone, which was the current zoning for “90 percent” of the property.
In other business, the council approved myriad drainage repairs citywide. The contracts totaled $192,188. The council also approved a $26,600 contract with McCrory & Williams Inc. for sidewalks along McGregor Avenue, from Dauphin Street to approximately 550 feet south of Old Shell Road.
In addition, the council approved the development of a combination soccer and football field at Martha Maitre park. The council also approved construction to begin on walking trails at Michael Figures Park and Crawford-Murphy Park.
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