The Fly Creek Apartments was the subject of a six day trial in Bay Minette. I spent 6 days observing the trial, listening to evidence and legal arguments. It went to trial because our city council let us down and ignored their campaign promises. Mr Adam Milam, the plaintiff’s attorney, Friends of Fly Creek, put it best:
“Whether you want apartments or not in the Fairhope area is not the issue. The City Council and Mayor sold out Fairhope and Baldwin County residents when they bowed to political pressure in allowing a large apartment complex, parking lot, and all the attendant runoff, erosion and sedimentation impacts right in the Fly Creek Watershed, an extremely vital watershed that they swore to protect.”
This was back in 2016 nothing has changed except the jury did not agree. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff and they are seeking to overturn legislative action by the city, such as planning and zoning and city council actions. This is very hard to do because most people would think the safeguards such as city council and planning and zoning would prevent such an issue.
Fly Creek group files apartment development complaint – Lagniappe Mobile
Friends of Fly Creek LLC has filed a complaint in Baldwin County Circuit Court against Fairhope city officials and the developer of the proposed 240-unit Retreat at Fairhope Village luxury apartment development. The complaint filed by attorney Adam Milam alleges that the Fairhope City Council’s April 11 approval of a change to the Fly Creek …
Not in Fairhope, the city council and planning and zoning rejected the public’s concerns in favor of the developer. The mayor lost his job and the new city council exacerbated the problem by playing politics and not listening to their constituents.
City Wins Fly Creek PUD Apartment Lawsuit
Fairhope, Alabama: newspaper, information, government, events, arts, music, entertainment, travel.
In Oct. 2016 the council endorsed the project.
How an apartment project led to political upheaval in one of Alabama’s fastest growing cities
Fairhope, which is the fastest growing city in Alabama’s fastest growing county, will see a significant changing of the guard next month when a new mayor and new council members take office. The newcomers arrive on a wave of voter anger over an apartment complex project.
In April of 2017 the newly elected city council, with exception of Mr. Jimmy Conyers, granted an extension of time to get the project going.
What was not discussed at trial was all the problems that have existed due to the Publix construction and damage to the creek. No mention of the sewer spill at the same location on fly creek as the proposed apartments. The jury did not get to hear how the past mayor and three councilman were voted out of office nor did they get to hear Fairhope has a new planning and zoning board as well as planning director and operations supervisor. They did not get to hear the public works director was fired, she gets credit for the many wrongs of the Publix project. They also did not get to hear about 3 other supervisors and at least 8 employees that have all left the city’s employment. Much of this shakeup can be contributed to the proposed apartments.
Some humorous moments did exist during the trial such as Mr Corte explaining to the jury that he was just a simple potato farmer and not a developer. While his nose was growing he went on to explain how the Publix and the proposed apartment complex were going to be a village much the same as Seaside, Florida, and not just a grocery store with apartments built behind it. You have to be pretty damn stupid to swallow that. The jury obviously has not been to Seaside.
What is not funny, and a fact, is that the issue will again come up for planning and zoning approval and sent to council for yet another vote. The developer discounted the citizens apposed to the project as a small minority that should not be taken seriously and assured the jury that the apartments were going to be “luxury apartments” and fireman and police would now have a place to live. Right 1100 dollars for a single bedroom plus utilities on a policeman or fireman pay, Ha.
The most telling aspect of the trial is understanding the drainage plan and how it will impact Fly Creek.
The new plan calls for a single point discharge at the outfall pipe, detouring the current 1 acre retention pond and omitting from plans the expansion to a 5 acre pond.
In simple English they are going to dump any excess storm water from the apartment complex directly into the wetlands which will drain into Fly Creek, approximately 100 feet to 150 feet from outfall pipe combined with the drainage of Publix.
Guess who owns the wetlands?
RE-GIFT GIFT ??
ATTENTION FAIRHOPE TAXPAYERS FW: Fly Creek PUD Amendment & the Deed to the City of the Most Sensitive 4 Acres Mitsy, “email to all council members and Mayor Wilson would greatly benefit the City.
Good ole Jack Burrell and Kevin Boone gladly accepted the gift and made sure no one in Fairhope knew exactly what the gift was and from whom, when caught they played dumb, an honest excuse.
The current planning and zoning board as well as the city council need every bit of public pressure brought on them, to re-think using the wetlands as a drainage discharge point and Fly Creek as a drainage ditch.
OH did I mention that Mayor Wilson has been on the side of the community, from day one, but not the council.
TO BE CONTINUED