In Alabama’s fastest growing county and fastest growing community, change and development are inevitable.
The key to dealing with this change is smart growth management. The actions by the city of Fairhope are an example of the best way to deal with the demands created as the region grows.
The Fairhope Planning Commission and City Council received a request for 99 acres to be annexed and rezoned to become part of the fifth phase of the Colony at the Grand development. Rezoning to “tourist resort status” would actually decrease the density allowed on the site, from 3.5 units an acre to 3 units.
This was a good start. City Council members, however, also questioned whether the available infrastructure, particularly sewage treatment, could accommodate the proposed growth. After officials presented the request in early June, council members asked them to go back and check on the capacity of sewage treatment facilities in the area.
Only after officials confirmed that the present facilities can deal with the demands and that more lift stations and storage tanks are planned to manage future growth, did the council approve the request.
The expansion at Colony at the Grand will add more attractive residential units to the Eastern Shore. The careful planning shown by developers and city officials will help ensure that the charm and beauty that has attracted past and present residents will continue into the future.
As much as we might wish to freeze things the way they are or return the world to the way that we or our parents remember it as children, the reality is that the world is changing.
Smart growth is a way make certain that Fairhope, the Eastern Shore and Baldwin County will continue to be as attractive and beautiful to future generations as it has in the past.