Conecuh Ridge, Heritage Ridge residents discuss concerns

Published 3:00 am Saturday, April 14, 2018

Residents of Heritage Ridge have spoken with top officials at Conecuh Ridge Distillery and a member of the Homeowner’s Association said the talks have been productive.

“We discussed the entire operation and what it would entail and of course the residents here all have their own concerns, but by and large it was a really good, productive meeting,” said Benny Scarbrough.

Scarbrough said some of the people that would be over the site attended the informal meetings with nearby residents and city officials.

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The Heritage Ridge Community has come out several times to the city council to ask them to consider not recruiting the company, citing concerns such as lower property values and increased traffic.

Scarbrough said these March meetings gave residents a chance to communicate those concerns to company officials and not just city representatives.

“I think we have a willingness to work with them and they heard our concerns and realize what our concerns were.,” Scarbrough said. “One major concern was traffic, that this was going to bring a lot more traffic in this neighborhood. (After the meeting_ I don’t think we’ll have any problems with traffic in this neighborhood.”

Scarbrough said the residents of Heritage Ridge and the surrounding area will be monitoring the development as construction begins. But Scarbrough said residents are happy for the chance to discuss issues as they come up.

“There’s some things we want to look at and keep our eyes on and we would communicate any concerns that may come up,” Scarbrough said. “That would give them the opportunity to respond to us. From a homeowner standpoint, we want to make sure our neighborhood is protected in every form, shape and fashion; but at the same time, we don’t want to prevent growth of our city. I think we can have a very productive working relationship.”

The City entered a project agreement with the whiskey distillery back in September 2017 and the company is currently doing due diligence before proceeding to break ground. They have six months from the purchase of the property, which the city bought in January.

The distillery will also be a bottling facility and tourist attraction according to city officials, with the whiskey marketed as the recipe of old-time local bootlegger Clyde May.