DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Residents on Carridale Street in Decatur attended Monday’s City Council meeting armed with a lot of questions regarding a proposed zoning increase to the very busy district.

The Decatur City Council chose to vote ‘yes’ on the rezoning that has many of the residents upset. They say the rezoning is not much of an improvement to the neighborhood.

“You’re making extreme changes in a neighborhood that nowhere around the neighborhood are apartment complexes, you’re making these changes without any real studies behind them,” longtime resident Mark Miller told News 19.  

The residents of Carridale Street were expecting a favorable vote from city council because they said that their concerns are for the children and the elderly of the neighborhood. City Council said that the changes won’t make that much of a difference. 

“The plan is for townhouses, that’s what we’re going for right now,” said council member Hunter Pepper. 

Pepper said it’s time to build and upgrade the neighborhood and the place to start is a 14-acre lot that once housed a popular flower shop. Neighborhood residents have gotten used to the empty lot because the traffic has been tamed since the vacancy, but they say it’s not enough to build a housing structure in its place.  

“We all wanted to see growth. Growth is very important in the city to us, and we want to see new upscale homes come in, buildings come in,” Pepper explained. “We want to see everything come in. We wanted new businesses to come in.”

The residents who attended the meeting disagreed, saying the new neighborhood will also see increased crime. Pepper said it’s all part of the growth of the city. 

“They say it’s going to increase crime and I will try and combat that to the best of our ability with an increased police presence. but we are very short-staffed right now and everybody knows that.” 

Carridale Street is one of the busiest streets in Decatur. It’s commonly used as a cut-through between the Beltline and 6th Avenue. The City Council said adding a residential property to the neighborhood will not make much of a difference in traffic.