MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The corner of Airport and University boulevards in Mobile is getting closer to becoming the home of a Publix anchor store.
The Mobile Planning Commission voted Thursday to recommend the rezoning of a residential area to make way for the grocery.
It was a pretty strong vote in favor of the Publix, but it's not over yet. And those who live just beyond the proposed site aren't done fighting.
There was a huge turnout of supporters at the planning commission meeting.
Reggie Copeland Sr.,Mobile City Council President and leader of the district in which the land falls, supports the rezoning.
"They want to be in this great city, and I say welcome them," Copeland said.
But, they were met with opposition.
Robert McDowell's son live just beyond the proposed site.
"I am opposed to this structure. The only ones benefiting are the developers," McDowell said.
The site in question is at the corner of one of the busiest intersections in the state.
"We can't take any more traffic," said a man who lives nearby.
Doug Anderson, counsel for the developer of the land, said the noise and traffic associated with the area is not its concern.
"There's nothing we can do about it. It's been here, its always going to be here as long as Mobile exists," Anderson said. "We shouldn't be held responsible for that."
The commission had to make the call whether to recommend the rezoning of a portion of the eight acres in question from residential to commercial.
The residential side is a neighborhood called Sunset Hills. Susan Carter has lived there most of her life.
"To put Publix here would destroy our property values of our homes and our lives. And other businesses will surely follow until there is noting left of sunset Hills but a memory," Carter said.
Mead Miller is on the commission. He shares the concerns.
"A person who buys a house in a R1 has a reasonable expectation of living in an R1 neighborhood," Miller said.
Miller was the only one on the commission to vote no. It passed 4-1.
The city council will now vote on the rezoning. It has the final say.
"I'm pretty confident," Anderson said.
Fourteen homes are already under contract by the developers. They will be torn down if the plan is approved.
The trial has begun for accused sex offender Giusseppe LoPorto in Bay Minette. LoPorto spent 14 years on the run in Italy before being arrested and extradited back to Baldwin County in 2012.
A Montgomery judge has scheduled a trial June 3 over whether the state government can keep the cash and destroy the gambling machines seized in a raid of VictoryLand casino in Macon County.
The Mobile County Sheriff's Office said deputies are looking for an attempted bank robbery suspect. They said the entered the Bay Bank on Dauphin Island Parkway in Fowl River just before 5 p.m. and handed a note to the teller, demanding …
A Cold Morning Showing Up Around the Gulf Coast but Plenty of Sunshine Lies Ahead....
Almost three months after the accident that took the life of 48-year-old Sari McKane, the next step in the process to make the site of the crash safer is underway. State workers were out early, installing the first poles that will hold a …
A commercial boat captain from Bayou La Batre, Ala., has pleaded guilty to shooting a dolphin with a shotgun in the Mississippi Sound in the summer of 2012.