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RV park OK’d

The Brewton Planning Commission took the first step Monday in creating new living space for workers with the Georgia Pacific expansion project.
An estimated 1,800 people will spend 18 months in Brewton working on a more than $400 million expansion project at the local GP mill. Work is expected to begin in early 2016.
The commission, which met before a crowd of nearly 20, convened to hear a request to rezone a 3.62-acre parcel on Foshee Road from RA (Rural Agriculture) to R5 to construct a RV/mobile home park. The parcel is part of a 27-acre section owned by Jerry Kelly of Brewton.
The park, called Twin Acres RV Park, will feature 48 units, a laundry facility, a bathhouse, a pavilion with grills, and an ice machine. The property would include landscaping and a 24-hour attendant, as well.
“We want it to serve all of their needs,” Kelly said; however, four neighboring property owners spoke out against the project, claiming that since the R5 designation would allow for mobile homes after construction at the GP plant was finished, it would cause their property values to decline.
After more than an hour of discussion, it was suggested that the property be classified as B3, which would allow for RV, but not mobile homes.
“What if we ask for a increased buffering between the park and the road and to install a property fence?” asked board member Frank Nalty. “Mr. Kelly has a good reputation. When he says he’s going to do something, he does it. If we want to get more attractions here, we have to grow, but I agree it’s bad to have a mobile home park in front of your house.
“This city has to grow,” he said.
Board member Steve Nelson said, “We’re sorry we can’t make everyone happy, but we have to make a decision for the best of the community.”
While neighboring property owners weren’t fully pleased with the compromise, Kelly said he would do whatever it took to make the project a go, which includes installing an eight-foot privacy fence and extra landscaping.
“When we began this project, we were told it was in the county jurisdiction,” Kelly said. “As soon as we found out that wasn’t right, we’ve done everything we could to make sure it was on the up-and-up.”
Now, the matter will go before the city council for a final vote. Before construction can continue, the rezoning must be approved by the city council.