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Madison neighborhood opposes suggestion to rezone land for shopping center and school

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – An idea to rezone land in Madison for a new high-end shopping mall and a possible new school is not going over well with residents who live nearby.

Some residents are upset over how such projects would affect their way of life and they’re pushing a petition to stop it.

The Park Meadow neighborhood sits right across the road from what is now a wheat field in land zoned for residential building.   That’s how two women on a mission want it to stay.

“Rezoning this and putting a shopping center, an exta school and right next to all our houses, to me, is not a good idea,” said Sue Thorn, a resident of Park Meadow.

She and her sister, Eva Walding, who also lives in the neighborhood, worry about the effects of re-zoning the land at Brownsferry Road and Wall Triana Boulevard.  They believe it would devalue their homes and worsening traffic in the area.

“We have a lot of traffic on this road at anytime,” said Walding.  “But at times.. at high traffic times, you almost cannot get out of this neighborhood… it’s difficult to get into the traffic.”

The two women started an online petition a few days ago and already it has more than 120 signatures.
They argue while building a brand new shopping center may sound exciting, there are already existing centers that need help.

“We have quite a few store fronts already vacant, rundown strip centers already,” said Thorn.  “I would love to see those rebuilt up and concentrate on getting something into those empty ones.”

Nothing has been decided.

Two members of the City of Madison Planning Commission, Mike Potter and Tim Holcombe, who represent the area on the Madison City Council, have said they are listening to all sides of the issue before they make a decision to encourage the move or not.

The planning commission will meet to consider the idea and hear from the public on Thursday, June 19 at 5:30pm at the Madison City Hall on Hughes Road.

It’s open to the public.  Members may decide whether or not to recommend the move to the entire city council.


  • CottonEyedJoe

    Please stop building. We have enough junk as it is. Oh wait. I finally get why idiots are destroying all of the fields. We don’t need wheat or corn or beans… We can eat clothes instead.

    • Peter

      We are taking about Madison City here.. not Madison County. If you like fields of cotton and corn, move further out of the City.

  • Don

    Madison is in a catch 22… they are not getting enough tax revenue to sustain themselves. Many years ago they had the option to annex in to Huntsville, and declined. So, Huntsville bought all the land around them, restricting their growth, literally. Huntsville is basically on all 4 sides of Madison. Now, Madison is hungry for land… and options to put new businesses to generate tax revenue. If the citizens of precious Madison like having roads in good conditions, and money to pay Police amd Fire… they would be a lot less picky.

    Of course this is information not all people know, so I can understand the non-support of economic growth because they like the more rural feel in certain areas, but it is absolutely crucial for the City to stay out of the red financially.

  • Jeanne

    Mrs Thorne has a point, there are plenty of older shopping sites that could be renovated. Looking around at what new construction there is, it seems there really isn’t any new businesses, just those that move from older to newer spaces leaving empty store fronts. Even with all the growth in west Madison and east Limestone Belk will still move to Bridge Street leaving the mall without one of its anchor stores. Why? If the mall needs updating, let’s do it, the people are still coming

  • Aerhae Starza

    This whole concept of building new retail and saying we are creating jobs is not real,because in reality what is happening is store’s relocate out of older buildings to move to where all the new building is going on.It’s not a jobs creator,it’s a job mover.To many politicians like to use these new shopping centers as a presence that they are creating jobs,when in all actuality they are relocating jobs to a newer venue. What is clear out of all of this is we are over building and have stepped into a bad habit as a society of accepting not taking care of what we build to begin with and staying with those structures for future use.Madison Square Mall is clearly a suffering example of over building and doing it to close to a same concept that is already present and was already working just fine. Bridge Street is sapping the life out of Madison Square Mall.City Planer’s or any engineer with the county or anybody else that allowed the bridge street project to go through should be put underneath the microscope.Who ever thought it would be a good idea to build all of this retail so close together knows that not all of those retail stores will be able to stay where they are at and operate with profit.Top this off will all of the growth in Madison right next door,with two lane roads to get to all of these places and what you have is a city/county planner night mare.Huntsville and Madison City Leaders need to get there act together on roads/water/and commercial retail.

  • Tim Holcombe

    NOTE: Mike Potter is on the Planning Commission and also is a City Councilman. Tim Holcombe is NOT on the Planning Commission, but is on the City Council. The Planning Commission approved the rezoning by a vote of 6-3 Thursday, June 19. The rezoning issue now goes to the City Council for final approval, and the public hearing and vote of Council will likely be held at the July 28th meeting.

  • nuclear mike

    Most of these people who run & are elected for the council & Commission positions are doing so to enrich themselves with their construction & business connections…that simple.

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