Dothan Planning Commission

A public notice sign from the Dothan City Planning Commission is shown at the site of new development near Westway shopping complex.

Several development plans, including a new hotel, a senior living community and apartment complexes, were approved by the Dothan Planning Commission on Wednesday, signaling the city’s continued growth on its west and north sides.

However, one project received heavy opposition by residents of the Kelly Springs subdivision, who packed the second floor of the Dothan Civic Center.

Before the meeting, the public was asked to practice social distancing when assembling in the lobby of the second floor while the commission met in the City Commission chambers. The meeting was transmitted via video and audio feeds to that section of the Civic Center.

Opponents of the proposed large, low-income apartment complex said the development will lower their property values and create traffic problems on the main road to Kelly Springs Elementary School.

“I just think it’s a bad idea, and I think we should just study the negative impact on homeowners in the area,” Ron Watson said to the commission.

City of Dothan traffic studies are only completed for complexes with 150 units or more. The Pines for Harwick Apartments on Kelly Springs Road includes 56 units, but may be expanded later in another phase.

Second concern

Another objection was that plans were inconsistent with the city’s future land use plan, showing it was designated for single-family residential housing. However, the 3.35-acre tract is currently zoned R-A for apartments.

Commissioners approved the plans in an 8-1 vote, with member Bob Whiddon voting against the development.

A Florida development group’s proposal to build an 18-acre, senior-living community next to Westway shopping complex was also green-lighted.

Sage Development Group, based in Panama City, will bring 107 units with single-story villas and an apartment building for residents who are 55 and older to the site.

Planning documents show 23 duplex and triplex villa buildings are planned around a centrally located, two-story apartment building comprising 57 units, a clubhouse and over 17,600 square feet of common area. Two rows of detached garage storage also are planned.

Cottages of Dothan will be expanding into recently annexed territory after the Planning Commission approved the rezoning of 19.91 acres on the northeast corner of Bethlehem and Murphy Mill roads.

An application from Mark Dennis to build a small apartment complex on Edgefield Drive, next to the Chapelwood subdivision, was approved. Plans include construction of three two-story buildings with a total 24 units.

Additionally, the proposed land near the former Sony manufacturing plant, where Dennis plans to build boat and recreational vehicle storage on the southern portion of the site also was approved. The 26,822-square-foot facility will be built along Nypro Lane south of the Xtreme Air trampoline park.

New hotel

An extended-stay hotel could join four other hotels in the immediate area around Hospitality Lane. The commission approved stayAPT Suites, a 59-room hotel, at Plum Road.

In other action, the commission approved a request from Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity to rezone about an acre of land at 561 Fortner St. to build several single-family residences.

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