Planning commission denies housing development plan near Spradley Drive

Published 3:00 am Friday, September 28, 2018

A proposed housing development in the Country club neighborhood was denied Thursday night by the Troy Planning Commission after residents in the neighborhood said it would cause traffic issues.

Walt Stell, representing Larry and Jill Curtis, brought forward the preliminary plan for about 90 houses to be added at the eastern end of Abby Lane east of the Deerstand Hill Subdivision and south of the Wildridge Subdivision.

Marcus Paramore, commission member and Troy City Council President, expressed concern to Stell that there are already too many houses in the area without enough access roads.

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“There are already around 200 houses back there with one way in and one way out,” Paramore said. “We’ve got a serious safety issue if something happens in that neighborhood and it gets cut off from the rest of the world … We’ve got to have another access point to Alabama Highway 87/167 . The traffic all dumps onto Spradley; it was not built to be the quasi-connector road that it has become. There’s a four-way stop there that’s only observed probably by 1 of the 10 of people that come through there.”

Larry Curtis, who lives in Huntsville, said the traffic is not as bad as it was made out to be.

“You don’t have a traffic problem in your neighborhood,” Curtis said. “I counted 15 cars out there today.

Curtis said the housing development is needed and that it is not his responsibility to create the road access that was being requested.

“We’ve seen the city shut down three different access roads,” Curtis said. “… It’s Troy’s responsibility to get a road in there if that’s what we need. That should be a function of the City of Troy to develop an additional roadway in and out of that community if that’s an issue.”

Neighborhood resident Joseph Marina called the traffic problems a “death trap.”

“It’s a rat race trying to get out of that area in the morning,” Marina said.

James Dunkin said there are far more than 15 cars on Spradley Drive each day.

“I counted more than that last Saturday,” Dunkin said. “There were concrete trucks, dirt-hauling trucks – we have an unsafe street. We’ve been living with this for a number of years.”

Jeff Logan, who lives at the intersection of Spradley Drive and Wildridge Drive, said every car comes right past his house.

“Come by my house at 5 a.m. and it looks like a racetrack, come at 5 p.m. and it looks like a racetrack,” Logan said. “I can’t get out of my driveway half the time waiting on traffic to clear. If you want to turn left on the highway, you might sit at three lights waiting to go. You want to see a traffic jam? Come by my house October 31 around 6 p.m. I couldn’t even get to my house two years ago. i had to drive around until 9:30 p.m. before I could even come home.”

Innis McIntyre, who developed other lots in the neighborhood, said the development is what will lead to having a new access road.

“Traffic will remain there without new development,” McIntyre said. “Developers do not plan out the city. (The planning commission) plans the city. I buy the land and put streets in that are allowed by Troy. That’s all I can do; that’s all any developer can do.”

Dax Pugh told Stell this decision has been coming for a long time.

“We had talked about this and said we would eventually reach a point where we couldn’t put any more homes there,” Pugh said. “I think we’ve reached that point now.”

The planning commission unanimously denied the request.