Update: Late in the afternoon of Oct. 2, Daphne Mayor Dane Haygood vetoed an ordinance on the Jacob’s Well in Old Town Daphne saying, in part, “it is not consistent with the will of the community.” The matter will come before the council on Oct. 15 and in order to pass must receive at least five yes votes. The Oct. 1 vote was 4-3 in favor of the rezoning application.
Daphne residents upset with the City Council’s 4-3 vote Monday on a rezoning application in Olde Towne say they’ll remember the vote come election time.
“All of these people realize the bigger issue is not just this zoning request,” resident Steve Olen said. “All of us want to know when we speak this strongly, this loudly, with this many people — that our elected officials are going to listen to our voice.”
Residents have been opposed to extending Daphne Court in Olde Towne onto 1.8 acres of land where developer Craig Dyas wanted to construct eight additional houses. It’s part of a larger planned unit development stretching from Daphne Court eastward to U.S. Route 98 on an additional 4.3 acres, where Dyas has city approval to put in 38 townhomes and retail space in the area behind Popeye’s Chicken.
The rezoning has been through many Planning Commission meetings and at least one City Council meeting, where it was withdrawn when it became apparent it was about to be voted down. Most recently it came before the Planning Commission in July and received an unfavorable 6-1 recommendation. The only favorable vote came from Councilman Ron Scott, who also sits on the Planning Commission.
It was Scott in February who told Dyas he might want to withdraw the application because if it failed to win council approval and appeared headed for a negative vote, he would have to wait a year to re-apply.
“From the beginning, the council has been trying to save the developer’s project,” resident Sandy Robinson said. “This is not the first time they’ve bent over backwards trying to save the developer from an inadequate project. And they did it back in February by letting the developer withdraw and come back. They did it tonight by proposing an amendment they hoped would be palatable to the residents. But we still think it’s a bad rezoning.”
Before the rezoning, the developer could put six houses on the 1.8 acres. Scott amended the application to limit Dyas to six detached homes on the controversial parcel and reserve some green space on the property. Scott along with Joel Coleman, Joe Davis and Doug Goodlin voted for the rezoning. Council President Tommie Conway and councilmen Robin LeJeune and Pat Rudicell voted against.
LeJeune said the issue wasn’t dead yet and that Mayor Dane Haygood could decide to challenge the rezoning.
“The public came out and spoke loudly and that’s one of the reasons I voted against it,” LeJeune said. “The last-minute changes — we’ll see if the public agrees with those and allows the mayor to accept or veto. So, there is some chance of that.”
Haygood told the crowd he would weigh residents’ concerns as he considers whether or not he will use the veto. He must do so in writing within 10 days.
“Your voices have been heard,” Haygood told those in opposition to the project. “I want to hear what you have to say about the new condition. Stay tuned.”
Update: Late on the afternoon of Oct. 2 Daphne Mayor Dane Haygood vetoed an ordinance on the Jacob’s Well in Old Town Daphne saying, in part, “it is not consistent with the will of the community.” The matter will come before the council on Oct. 15 and in order to pass must receive at least five yes votes. The Oct. 1 vote was 4-3 in favor of the rezoning application.