Hampton Cove neighbors share concerns about future growth

OWENS CROSS ROADS, Ala.- Hampton Cove is growing, with more homes and businesses on the other side of the mountain.

Commuters are waiting for Cecil Ashburn Drive to reopen, but Huntsville leaders wanted neighbor input about future plans.

The trip over the mountain on Governors Drive is a test of many drivers' patience, especially the 5:00 p.m. drive home.

"I usually try to pick a time to come when it's not that time," Hampton Cove resident Susan Watson said.

Workers are in the third month of widening Cecil Ashburn Drive to make room for more traffic in and out of Hampton Cove.

"It'll only incentivize the development out here, it's already one of the fastest growing areas of the city," James Vandiver said. Vandiver works in long-range planning for the city of Huntsville.

"I'm torn because one of the things I like about this side is that when you come over the mountain, you're away from the hectic," Watson said.

Big Picture Huntsville and Grow Cove leaders were asking neighbors to share their concerns about the future of Hampton Cove.

"You want things to come here so you don't have to go over the mountain for everything. But at the same time, you want things to stay small," Watson said.

"The growth is definitely not slow with the Cecil Ashburn closure. We had more than 400 housing units permitted last year," Vandiver said.

There are now around 17,000 people living in Hampton Cove. The Cove gets points for its green space, but neighbors say one of their biggest desires is to see a high school built.

Big Picture leaders say there'll be two more meetings over the next few weeks.

They expect to come up with a final plan for the future of Hampton Cove by next year.

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