Planning Commission discusses new subdivision, fire station

Published 11:27 am Friday, December 11, 2015

Members of the Pelham Planning Commission and city engineer Jesse Jowers go over plans for the Grey Oaks Sector 3 project. (Reporter photo / Jessa Pease)

Members of the Pelham Planning Commission and city engineer Jesse Jowers go over plans for the Grey Oaks Sector 3 project. (Reporter photo / Jessa Pease)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM— Discussions will continue concerning the preliminary plat for the Grey Oaks Sector 3 project, a 32-lot subdivision, after the Pelham Planning Commission voted to table the decision until the Feb. 11 meeting.

This ruling ultimately stemmed from a list of about 24 items that had not been addressed by the developers as of the Dec. 10 meeting, as well as an issue related to the construction of a new fire station.

“We have roughly 24 items that have not been addressed,” said chairperson Mildred Lanier. “That is a large list. Just things to consider.”

The Grey Oaks project was brought before the Planning Commission in 2005. The primary plat sector 1 project, which was approved by the commission Aug. 11, 2005, stated that the developer would build a fire station with a police room and purchase a fire truck.

The original developer is no longer involved with the project, and the new group involved with the project does not want to build a fire station or buy a fire truck, according to minutes from the Sept. 19, 2013 commission meeting.

The Grey Oaks Plat is in a “dead zone,” according to Pelham Fire Chief Danny Ray. The subdivision is not within five miles of any fire station, however, he said that moving a currently operating fire station to that area would result in a similar issue in another part of the city.

“Locating a fire station somewhere between where it is now (on County Road 52) and this subdivision would be the most prudent thing to do,” Ray said.

City Council President Rick Hayes said the best thing would be finding an optimum location to serve the entire city. He added that the city has some funds budgeted for work related to that.

Lanier brought up the question of releasing the group from that portion of the agreement, and Hayes suggested finding a replacement agreement rather than releasing them from the original requirements.

The optimum solution, according to Hayes, would be finding something that is best for everyone involved, such as a contribution toward doing something that would protect these areas in emergency situations.

“That’s what we would be in favor of, is something that would help,” he said.

Members of the commission also explained that the previous administration approved the project, with the requirement that the developer build a fire station and provide a fire truck.

“I think what I have tried to do, and what we’ve all tried to do, is honor the forward thinking of the prior commission,” Lanier said.

The commission voted to move this agenda item to the Feb. 11, 2016, meeting, which would give Lanier time to meet with Hayes, Pelham Mayor Gary Waters and other city officials to better determine how to move forward.