ATHENS, Ala. – The Athens Planning Commission is recommending the City Council approve the rezoning of more than 200 acres of farmland off Cambridge Lane to meet the growing housing demand.
According to studies, Limestone County is the fastest-growing county in the state, but rapid growth also brings growing pains. A place known for farming is being sold, but some Athens residents are hesitant about the change.
“The traffic is going to be one thing but I don’t want to sit on my front porch and look at 700 rooftops,” says Athens resident Candy Bailey. “I’d rather look at cotton tops or corn tops any day.”
Bailey has lived on Cambridge lane for 75 years. The 234 acres of farmland south of Highway 72 and east of Cambridge Lane could soon be rezoned from estate residential and agricultural to high-density residential. That could bring as many as 700 new homes to the area which Bailey is against.
“I love the land, I hate to see the land messed up. Land means everything to me and once it’s gone you can’t get it back.”
Residents who live on Cambridge Lane say they are concerned the road can’t handle the traffic.
“Our biggest concern is not that they are going to build homes there, but that it’s going to be high density (homes) the number of cars that will be added to this very small lane is just going to overwhelm Cambridge Lane,” says Athens native Judy Sowell.
Skipper Consulting, LLC is doing a traffic study to review the concerns.
“The traffic study we have commissioned will be available before the city council will vote on this,” says Morell Engineering President Taz Morell.
The rezoning will go before Athens City Council in late August for their consideration.