MALBIS, Ala. (WALA) - Controversy over the proposed construction of a new CVS Pharmacy and shopping center in Malbis will soon be heading to court.
Residents on Malbis Lane have watched for years as shopping centers and other businesses went up just north of the intersection of US 90 and Highway 181.
However, a recent proposal to build a CVS pharmacy and shopping center would bring that development closer to home.
Malbis residents living in the historic district near where the building is set to be built have filed a lawsuit against the Baldwin County Commission, Baldwin County Planning and Zoning Commission and the Foresight Group Incorporated.
Betty Godwin is part of the Malbis Lane Homeowners Association and has lived across from the proposed site for years. She and other residents said the project would increase traffic and drainage problems as well as lower property values.
"It will certainly affect all of our values and quality of life in a negative way. I think our zoning ordinances protect us from that infringement of our residential area," said Godwin.
An attorney for the Homeowner's Association told FOX10 the lawsuit will challenge whether the project adheres to conditions in a County master plan.
They say at the time the proposal was passed by the Baldwin County Planning and Zoning Commission, there was no master plan in place. Therefore, they say no construction should be allowed until one is finalized.
"As residents we have the right to speak out and protect our property. We expect our government to allow us to do that as well as allow for development," Godwin said.
Residents also expressed concerns that a CVS would disrupt the Greek theme of numerous buildings in the area as well as result in numerous trees being torn down.
Officials with the Malbis Plantation Incorporated, which owns the property, declined to comment on the lawsuit. However, they told us they had their own master plan conducted by Duany Plater - Zyberk & Company.
Malbis Plantation Inc. said they plan to address traffic by widening the highway. They also plan to fix drainage issues and designed the building with a Greek theme in mind.
Norman McCallister said the development would do more harm than good.
"We feel that there's a good case for doing something more reasonable. If they want to develop it into a residential area, we don't have a problem with that," McCallister said.
The lawsuit is set to go to court in Bay Minette on January 6, 2014.
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