Athens City council tables vote on apartment proposal

Athens
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ATHENS, Ala. -- City leaders in Athens say they want two more weeks to consider a new housing proposal. Neighbors urge the council to reject a new apartment complex on Monday.

The group JMJ Development out of Dallas wants to build what they say are 480 luxury apartments along Lindsay Lane and U.S. Highway 72. They asked the city to rezone the land from B-2 to R-2, which is multi-family housing.

Supporters of the plan say housing is in demand for young professionals.

Families who live behind the new development say it'd be a nightmare for traffic, storm water runoff and they question if JMJ will be around long enough to see the project finished.

"The developer is going to develop and sell. He's in it to make money and there's no issue with that," neighbor Brandon Hicks said. "We have to protect our lifestyle, our lifetime investment in the house."

City leaders plan to meet with Barton and neighbors in the next two weeks to listen to any more concerns.

"We ended up having a lot of people come out because of the people in their backyard. If you look somewhere else, it's going to be somebody else's backyard. We just followed the comprehensive plan," Timothy Barton from JMJ Development said.

JMJ Development has promised to invest $70 million in the project.

Barton says the city would benefit from around $6 million in taxes and revenue if approved.

He and neighbors will get their answer on September 10th.

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