Reasons for not rezoning U.S. 51 and Ash: increased traffic, dangerous intersection with proposed narrow lanes, commercial property in a residential neighborhood, decreasing property values, negligible net new sales tax.
The traffic currently stacks back on Ash hundreds of feet. This proposed development would add 60-plus additional cars per hour. We are aware of traffic reports claiming the intersection should be able to handle increased traffic. If not, and traffic backs up into U.S. 51, what is the recourse?
The proposed intersection will have four painted lanes. Pavement abutting our property is 39 feet, 10 inches gutter to gutter; pavement in front of Huston Hills is 43 feet, 6 inches. This would accommodate approximately 10.5-foot lanes, although planners stated lanes will be 12 feet. Discussions of reducing the speed limits will not cure this design problem. Four lanes can be created only by eliminating street parking.
The plan requires stacking cars in approximately a 125-foot lane to turn left. The left turn lane can accommodate approximately four or five cars. Subsequent cars turning left will stack back onto U.S. 51. The new proposed development has basically the same entrance design on Ash as previously proposed by Aldi’s.
The plan appears to have three sides of parking set back areas. Approximately 47 parking stalls out of 82 are noncompliant with the set back zoning codes. Set backs help with safety, visibility, and provide a buffer and green area.
Developers claim these retailers and restaurants will produce a few million dollars in sales. The sales are not all new sales dollars. These sales come at the expense of existing restaurants and retailers. Existing restaurants would be negatively impacted. Therefore, sales taxes generated from this development would not create a significant net increase.
James Forbes and family, Decatur