Neighborhoods torn by potential medical district development

Development is inevitable in
Huntsville’s medical district. But one neighborhood is torn when it
comes to how they see their property in the future.

This comes off the heels of a planning commission Tuesday night.

Many
residents along Longwood Avenue have requested to be rezoned because of
future growth around Governor’s Drive, the traffic already vouches for
that.

They want to protect their property value.

But their nearby neighbors on Rhett Avenue feel they’ll be getting the brunt of Longwood’s problems.  

With
more development on the horizon in Huntsville’s medical district, 20
households along Longwood asked the planning commission Tuesday night
to be rezoned from single family residential to a residential office
district.

Talks are that doctors’ offices will eventually move in.

Residents have witnessed tremendous growth from their front doors, and now, more expansion from Huntsville Hospital.

They want to protect their property from decreasing in value.

Gladys
Mullis and her husband built their home on Longwood more than 50 years
ago:  "1950.  We were one of the first ones on the street… just a lot
of good memories.  I know every scratch on the wall."

Mullis remembers when there was just a playground in front of her home.

She says, "I hate to see things change so much but I know they’re going to."

Diana
Davidson lives on Rhett Avenue.  Her home backs up to Longwood:  "The
controversy is over this area back here and this area is actually an
easement it’s not an actually alley way and if Longwood is converted
over to business properties then we’re basically going to have a
parking lot throughout our backyards."

While sympathetic, some neighbors feel Longwood’s problems are being put on them.

"They’re
going to have 1500 cars parked across the street from them and a
parking garage and a large parking area, but rezoning them then just
brings the line to us on Rhett."

District Four City Councilman
Bill Kling says,  "I think the city council is going to be very
interested in finding out what is being proposed for Longwood Avenue
and how can that be done without hurting the Rhett avenue residents."

Kling
adds, "I think there are a lot of areas of the city were people are
buying buildings old houses in existing older neighborhoods and turning
them into a residential office buildings such as this… We want to
protect the neighborhoods the best we can because every resident in the
city deserves to have a good neighborhood to live in."

The
councilman also hopes to appease the Longwood residents, which might be
a solution of putting parking in the front or create a buffer to
separate Longwood and Rhett.

The proposal has been passed to the zoning subcommittee for further review.

It will go back to planning for a recommendation, and then ultimately go before the city council for a vote.

WAFF 48 News

http://www.waff.com/Global/story.asp?S=7262421&nav=0hBE

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