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Annexation controversy: New apartment complex being built in Decatur

Decatur City Council approves annexation that has opposition from the community.

DECATUR, Ala. — The City Council of Decatur approved annexation for nearly 15 acres of of Upper River Road, in order to build an upscale apartment complex.

Mayor of Decatur, Tab Bowling, said this was a long process but he is fully in favor of this decision.

"The City Council did a marvelous job in taking their time through this, as did our planning commission…listening to residents and we had some residents that were not really excited about having it there," Mayor Bowling said.

The City Council voted 3-1 on this decision, Councilman Billy Jackson was the only one opposed.

He said residents in the area shared their concerns with him.

"From my perspective, there were concerns about runoff that I think are significant and legitimate, there were concerns about traffic that I do think are significant and legitimate and according to our city's planning department we don't have a traffic study that supports us being able to say that it won't impact traffic," Councilman Jackson said.

But Mayor Bowling said this is great for the city's growth.

"We haven't had an apartment complex in about 30 years, a new one in our city. Now again with all the growth we're experiencing in the region we need multi family dwellings," Mayor Bowling said.

Councilman Jackson assured that he is in favor of the city's growth and need for apartments but he could not support this specific annexation.

"The opposition was overwhelming, it was overwhelming that the neighbors did not want it and they had legitimate reasons so that was the reason I was not able to support this," Councilman Jackson said.

He said the community has the right to have their voice heard.

"I do feel that citizens should always have a reasonable say when they've made an investment in the community as to what goes into that community." 

Councilman Jackson believes there wasn't enough research done on this area to ensure it won't negatively impact the community.

But Mayor Bowling said that when developers begin, they'll need to follow certain protocols.

"The developer will have to follow some restrictions and such and these are to benefit those that are surrounding the development in the city of Decatur," said Mayor Bowling.

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