Photo by Dan Starnes.
0512 City Council approves Lane Parke
Mountain Brook City Council voted to approve zoning for the new Lane Parke development on May 21.
The Mountain Brook City Council unanimously approved rezoning for the new 27-acre Lane Park development in Mountain Brook Village after a public hearing on May 21 at Mountain Brook Junior High School.
“We have been working on this for five years and are confident that all the comments from the Friends of Mountain Brook have been incorporated into the plan,” said John Evans of Evson, Inc., who owns the development’s property. “This plan fits much more in likeness of the villages. I think the city of Mountain Brook will be happy once the project is completed.”
Council member Jesse Vogtle abstained from the council's vote. He said he chose not to participate due to an ethical obligation; Daniel Corporation, the developer for Lane Parke, is a client of his law firm.
“I am pleased that the vote was unanimous,” Council President Virginia Smith said. “I think the development will be great for the villages and the city of Mountain Brook, and I look forward to seeing it get started.”
Public attendance was much smaller for this hearing than previous hearings for the development over the past five years. The council invited any public comment or question, and only one person got up to speak.
Marjorie White asked that the council address the concerns raised in a letter Faye Clark sent the council on the behalf of the Friends of Mountain Brook. Smith responded that she did not see any concerns raised in the letter that had not been addressed by the developer.
The council had approved a larger scale version of the development in 2010; that plan had drawn large crowds to public hearings and incited opposition due to its size. Because of economic considerations, Evson scaled back the development by 22 percent and presented it to the city earlier this year.
At the first public hearing for the new plan, most public comment was in favor of the plan and addressed concerns about specific details of the design.
Now that the Planned Unit Development zoning for Lane Parke has been approved, the developer will finalize the design of the apartments to be built and look at the design of the retail space.
As design plans are completed, they will go before the city’s Village Design Review for approval and move forward once they are permitted for construction. All plans must be designed according to the pattern book approved by City Council. If any dispute arises between the developer and Design Review, it will go before City Council for resolution.
“We hope to begin demolition [of Park Lane apartments] in late summer or early fall and begin construction on the apartments late this year,” said Doug Neil, Vice President of Development for Daniel Corporation.
Neil said that they hope to complete construction of the 276 apartment units and commercial space, the first phase of the development, by the spring of 2014.
The retail and commercial space that will be built in place of the existing Western shopping center is a part of the second phase of development, as is a proposed 100-room inn on Lane Parke Road. The development also includes plans to widen roads to alleviate traffic issues in Mountain Brook Village.