EB plans zoning changes

Published 2:00 am Saturday, July 7, 2012

A proposal to “fine tune” a zoning ordinance already in place in East Brewton may see some changes in the way new businesses are constructed in the city.
Zoning Board member David Blair said the East Brewton City Council will have a chance to help keep the appearance of the city moving forward if the proposed changes are approved.
“Last year we created what we call a ‘downtown’ area of East Brewton,” Blair said. “This proposed change in the zoning ordinance will only be doing some fine tuning of the wording to make sure we take care of any problems now and in the future. Things change from time to time and we want to keep things moving ahead.”
Last year the council agreed to a zoning ordinance that named the area along Forrest Avenue as the downtown district reaching from Murder Creek bridge to the intersection of U.S. and Alabama 41. Areas to the east, west or south of the intersection were not included in the district and were not required to adhere to provisions in the ‘downtown district’ ordinance.
“We just want to make sure that any new business that comes into East Brewton is going to construct their location based on certain guidelines,” Blair said. “We don’t want anyone to be able to come in and nail two pieces of plywood together and call it a business.”
Blair said the reason for the proposed change is to keep the entire business areas of East Brewton attractive to other business owners who may be interested in moving into the area.
“When you have businesses that have nice store fronts and have landscaping and generally good looking places of business, that looks good to anyone interested in being a part of East Brewton,” Blair said. “That’s the whole reason behind an ordinance or a change to an ordinance. We have to keep our business area appealing to the businessmen that will spend their money on a business located elsewhere to come to East Brewton and spend money on the same business here. We need to grow and we have to keep improving to do that. This will help to ensure that happens.”
Blair said the change in the ordinance would require any location along U.S. 29 and Alabama 41 zoned as a business area to fall under the provisions of the ordinance.
Blair also said the zoning is a way to help keep problems from arising and also fixes what may be long-term problems.
“Nobody is going to build a home in an area that is unattractive,” Blair said. “We must protect our city and this is a good step in that direction.”
A public hearing will be held to allow residents to voice their opinions on the proposed changes to the zoning ordinance.

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