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jmanhsv

Huntsville Annexation

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The Huntsville City Council is expected to vote on September 28 on the annexation of 400 acres in the unincorporated Morgan County community of Lacey's Spring. This is smaller than the 1000 acres previously planned for annexation. This is because of a Morgan County judge's decision to block the city from holding a referendum over the issue. For the remaining 400 acres, estate lots are planned according to the developer.

Huntsville Times article

So, is this a good idea or a bad idea for Huntsville to expand into Morgan (and eventually Marshall) County?

I think it's a good idea. Lacey's Spring isn't all that attractive. Annexation will clean up the area and make it more suitable for development.

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If it brings retail growth that isn't present, then I say bring it on. I have to drive all the way to Carl Jones Drive SE for a Target.

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I still don't like it. I like the idea of Huntsville staying accross the river. It gives them too much of an advantage to become a port city like Decatur along the river. Cause, with all of the intramodal things that Huntsville has, puts them at a position to take port business away from Decatur. BAD for business.

But, they've said that want it to be light residential and commercial. So, I'm praying that they don't take advantage of the position like they could.

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The city will zone the 400 acres as residential. And we already tried building a port a few years back in Triana. Public opposition to the port was a big issue during the last mayoral election. Besides, Lacey's Spring is a big floodplain. It'll be good for some raised houses, not a port.

It's all a matter of perspective. This morning's Decatur Daily has an article talking about residents' opposition to the annexation. It also has a few stupid quotes by a county commissioner, who I guess did not realize that Decatur did the same thing (annex across a river) a few years back. Decatur Daily article

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It's all a matter of perspective. This morning's Decatur Daily has an article talking about residents' opposition to the annexation. It also has a few stupid quotes by a county commissioner, who I guess did not realize that Decatur did the same thing (annex across a river) a few years back. Decatur Daily article

As true as that is about us expanding over the river, this is different. At the moment, and at present time, there was and is not a city over 30,000 , 40,000, or even 50,000 that exists in Limestone County. Plus, there was no reason not to do it, considering that virtually no one lived out there at that time. Most of the houses out there were built after that area became Decatur.

It was also very important that we annexed over there, cause, otherwise, Huntsville, Athens, or Madison could have takent that land and kept Decatur to expand in the very small areas it can in Morgan County. There isn't much room left to expand in Morgan County.

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Honestly, the way I see it whether it is Huntsville or Decatur is like the worse of the 2 evils. Both cities are looking to gain more land and status as it can before the region become so developed that they will virtually become landlocked. In the end I see that Huntsville will remain the larger of the 2 but it will be interesting watching the 2 continue to gobble up land across the Tennesee Valley.

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Honestly, the way I see it whether it is Huntsville or Decatur is like the worse of the 2 evils. Both cities are looking to gain more land and status as it can before the region become so developed that they will virtually become landlocked. In the end I see that Huntsville will remain the larger of the 2 but it will be interesting watching the 2 continue to gobble up land across the Tennesee Valley.

Yea, Huntsville's always gonna be the larger town. When people who are moving to the Tennessee Valley for Redstone, Marshall, places like that, and they here that these places are inside Huntsville. The thought does usually occur to them that there are towns outside of Huntsville that are just as suitable to their needs.

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One thing that I do not understand is that there are areas inside Madison County that is as or more developed then Lacy Springs (referring to areas between North Memorial and US-72), but is not inside Huntsville city limits. Why would that area not be annexed before annexing over the river.

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One thing that I do not understand is that there are areas inside Madison County that is as or more developed then Lacy Springs (referring to areas between North Memorial and US-72), but is not inside Huntsville city limits. Why would that area not be annexed before annexing over the river.

Good question. It would seem that they would annex as much of Madison County as they could before doing this, but I'm sure that it benefits the city more to annex over the river. I'm thinking there is money involved.

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Good question. It would seem that they would annex as much of Madison County as they could before doing this, but I'm sure that it benefits the city more to annex over the river. I'm thinking there is money involved.

once again landowners petition or request the city to annex. The city can entice with promises but there are rules that must be followed. In this case a landowner Dr. Wisda has requested it.

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I reinterate, it is the worse of the 2 evils. SMH. IMO, in this state would much rather be annexed by the central city than some rogue suburb that doesn't want to promote a wiser urban planning setup. Just look at any suburb of Birmingham, the only exceptions to this rule are Homewood and Mtn. Brook. In the end the central city would offer much better amenties and services in the long run, give or take the municipal taxes. In addition, Huntsville City Schools is still one of the best in the state for it being a larger city with more 100,000+ residents.

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I reinterate, it is the worse of the 2 evils. SMH. IMO, in this state would much rather be annexed by the central city than some rogue suburb that doesn't want to promote a wiser urban planning setup. Just look at any suburb of Birmingham, the only exceptions to this rule are Homewood and Mtn. Brook. In the end the central city would offer much better amenties and services in the long run, give or take the municipal taxes. In addition, Huntsville City Schools is still one of the best in the state for it being a larger city with more 100,000+ residents.
All true. I, as a Decaturite, and though I would never let this happen, would much rather be absorbed by Huntsville than somewhere like Madison, or heaven forbid even Athens. Like you say, lesser of the two evils. Also, the land over there is going to be annexed no matter what, though, I'd prefer that Decatur annex that land, Huntsville would be my next choice. Of course, if Decatur annexed that area, it'd cause much less confusion with Metro area naming and such.

One thing that I do not understand is that there are areas inside Madison County that is as or more developed then Lacy Springs (referring to areas between North Memorial and US-72), but is not inside Huntsville city limits. Why would that area not be annexed before annexing over the river.

I think it's also them trying to let Huntsville have more of an impact ont he area. Not that it's a bad thing at all. But, I could always be wrong, haha.

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Apparently a few of the citizen of Lacey's Spring community really don't want Huntsville in their lives. 125 to be exact. I'm confused about how all of this works. It seems like Huntsville's expecting to annex that land with out the permission of the citizens. I dont' think it's possible. But, anyways here's the story.

Lacey's Spring doesn't want Huntsville on their daily schedule

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Well, it seems that Huntsvill's invasion of Morgan County isn't going to be happening anytime soon. The physician that was proposing the annexation pulled the plug on it.

Huntsville Physician Pulls Plug on Annexation

I really think this is the right decision at the moment. Does this mean you could buy one of the lots for a cheaper price? After it is developed there may be another attempt especially to take advantage of HSV city schools. There is still a need for a South Huntsville high school, which would be within 10 miles of these lots.

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I really think this is the right decision at the moment. Does this mean you could buy one of the lots for a cheaper price? After it is developed there may be another attempt especially to take advantage of HSV city schools. There is still a need for a South Huntsville high school, which would be within 10 miles of these lots.

That area won't be developed until a city such as Decatur, Guntersville, or Huntsville attempts to expand towards it. It'll be a long time before there's adequate support to start growing that area.

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South Huntsville (basically anything in the Grissom school district) is so remote and isolated that it would be better served as a separate entity -- ie an incorporated suburb. The area is mostly suburban, with mostly single family homes and a few apartments along the the major arteries.

Shopping and lodging are almost non-existent outside of a few hotels near Martin road, and strip malls @ Haysland Square, Grissom / Four Mile Post (Target), Hobbs Wal-Mart, and Weatherly + Bailey Cove.

The area has little to no office space to speak of. Essentially, it's the "Arsenal Access Zone", but with more focus on Research Park and the Madison/New Market area, the area seems to be going downhill a bit. Until they build the Southern Bypass (probably never gonna happen), the area will continue to wither.

The area's oldest developments are around the Whitesburg school district, with house dating back into the 1950s (birth of suburbia / Redstone Arsenal). New developments have almost grinded to a halt, with Green Cove road serving as a barrier for development. It's probably for the better, until they get the Parkway limited access all the way down, and get a working "Southern Bypass" for easy west town access.

As one who's lived here for 30 or so years, I fancy myself as an expert on the area, and know every nook and cranny. I'm also familiarized with the isolation the area fosters. With the mountains, river and arsenal on all 4 sides, it's like a veritable pocket in nowhere. This is especially so if you live in the Weatherly / Jones Valley, along Bailey Cove Rd.

I'd put the North boundary line at Martin Road, up Whitesburg to Four Mile Post, past Bailey Cove up the mountain. City offices could be anywhere, but probably the best places would be along the Parkway or Bailey Cove. Even one of the more dilapidated schools like Mountain Gap or Weatherly would be good sites. They could tear down one of these schools, condense them into 3-4 stories high, and build the offices in the saved space.

The Grissom shopping center (at least that's what I call it) already has a police precinct, and there are plenty of local fire facilities. I don't know what else the new city would need, but I'm sure it can be arranged. The area's big enough to be self-sufficient, and far removed from central Huntsville offices.

I'd be all for a South Huntsville secession. Call it Whitesburg, South Huntsville, Arsenal City, whatever. I don't care. I think it's long overdue. I think the city would be better served by a central office that isn't 5-10 miles away.

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No, not really. One of the biggest problems of the incorporation of a new municality that seems to arise is the factionalism and infighting on regional level. In the long run, a new muncipality would make regional cooperation and progress even more difficult to accomplish due to the fact that most cities/towns in the state have its "every man for himself" mentality.

I understand the lack of attention that Huntsville gives the area, but creating an entirely new city isn't the answer. You must demand responsibility of the councilmember(s) that represents the area and demand why there isn't not activity or services being provided to the region. In the long run, you guys would benefit 10x more from these actions above than trying to create a new city and manage all the services that goes along with it.

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I don't think this is a good idea. I would like to see Huntsville as the largest city in Alabama someday. By breaking off an area of the city with 25-50,000 residents, it would destroy all hopes of that ever happening. Another city would mean another police dept., another fire dept., and another school system. We don't need that. Just look at Birmingham- nothing can be done there regionally because there are so many incorporated cities with their own agendas. Huntsville doesn't need this type of disorganization, especially now when we are about to see a major surge in growth because of BRAC.

The only part of Huntsville I ever see breaking off and incorporating is Hampton Cove.

New developments have almost grinded to a halt, with Green Cove road serving as a barrier for development.

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There is some improvement with the 4-Mile Post extension and the new Target shopping center, but I still haven't figured out why the closest mall is still Parkway Place. I don't shop at malls much, but they are still a nice way for suburbanites to walk around, see people without car windows blocking them off, get some exercise, and shop.

I think the biggest problem for the area is its isolation 231 goes south of town, but muddles and winds into the Appalachian foothills so that it's hardly a route to anywhere. With I-65 and 431 (Governors) going the same general direction, it's essentially a road to nowhere . Most of the other areas of town have viable roads for commerce from out-of-town.

The area is a like cul de sac of the Greater Huntsville subdivision. You only go there if you live to or otherwise have to, and rarely on the way to anywhere. This may be "cozy" if the area hadn't grown so large. Now it's just inconvenient. It would be nice if it had some out-of-town traffic coming through, and more attractions. The town seems to be focused on Martin road northward, with South Huntsville being a suburban residential afterthought, with one truly major road (Parkway), and minimal commercial necessities.

The town seems to be growing more North, East, and West, while South Huntsville is being forgotten. Afterall, the university, airport, 565, Research Park and other things are all in the western part of town, while the south end merely provides easy access to the military base, and not much else. In fact the base becomes an obstacle for those living in South Huntsville wlo an arsenal pass. Most cross-town trips involve doing some acute-angled route through the 565/Parkway intersection, nearly doubling the distance that it would take to go in a straight line.

Many South Huntsvillians are leaving for western Madison County for this very reason. The area is just not easily accessible. With aging houses, few new developments, crowded schools (make that a single high school) and little in the way of nearby employment options, it's probably not going to be long before the area becomes either a ghost town or run down. It may last a couple decades or so, but eventually I don't see much of a future for the area, outside of a few Arsenal workers. But with new areas spring up around the base, I don't know if even that will sustain the area for long.

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most cities are annexing areas' instead of what you suggest . the biggest obstacle may be the terrain.

I think your case for gloom and doom may be a bit premature. The Tennessee River is diamond in the rough

for that area. Until the road construction is finished retail will be hesitant to locate, it is a very beautiful and

unique area of the city which will see better days. Why would being a separate city be any better?

If anything it would destroy what is there now. Where would the tax revenue come from?

What you have is exactly what new residents want, privacy, safe, well established neighborhoods.

There is nothing appealing about the bedroom suburb of Madison, unless you like inflated prices, horrible traffic,

tiny lots, and cookie cutter (although very nice) homes.

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There is some improvement with the 4-Mile Post extension and the new Target shopping center, but I still haven't figured out why the closest mall is still Parkway Place. I don't shop at malls much, but they are still a nice way for suburbanites to walk around, see people without car windows blocking them off, get some exercise, and shop.

I think the biggest problem for the area is its isolation 231 goes south of town, but muddles and winds into the Appalachian foothills so that it's hardly a route to anywhere. With I-65 and 431 (Governors) going the same general direction, it's essentially a road to nowhere . Most of the other areas of town have viable roads for commerce from out-of-town.

The area is a like cul de sac of the Greater Huntsville subdivision. You only go there if you live to or otherwise have to, and rarely on the way to anywhere. This may be "cozy" if the area hadn't grown so large. Now it's just inconvenient. It would be nice if it had some out-of-town traffic coming through, and more attractions. The town seems to be focused on Martin road northward, with South Huntsville being a suburban residential afterthought, with one truly major road (Parkway), and minimal commercial necessities.

The town seems to be growing more North, East, and West, while South Huntsville is being forgotten. Afterall, the university, airport, 565, Research Park and other things are all in the western part of town, while the south end merely provides easy access to the military base, and not much else. In fact the base becomes an obstacle for those living in South Huntsville wlo an arsenal pass. Most cross-town trips involve doing some acute-angled route through the 565/Parkway intersection, nearly doubling the distance that it would take to go in a straight line.

Many South Huntsvillians are leaving for western Madison County for this very reason. The area is just not easily accessible. With aging houses, few new developments, crowded schools (make that a single high school) and little in the way of nearby employment options, it's probably not going to be long before the area becomes either a ghost town or run down. It may last a couple decades or so, but eventually I don't see much of a future for the area, outside of a few Arsenal workers. But with new areas spring up around the base, I don't know if even that will sustain the area for long.

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Of course you made the southern part of the may orange!

Interesting observations here. I agree with you that south Huntsville is a bit isolated from the rest of the city due to Redstone Arsenal, Green Mountain, and the Tennessee River, but I wouldn't call the area "withering." It is more of a bedroom community than a hotbed of development. A lot of families live in south Huntsville, and quite a bit of those work on the arsenal. As jmanhsv has said, there are homes going up on Hobbs Road west of the Wal-Mart, and I think there are also plans for a development on the Morgan County side of the river in Lacey Springs that Huntsville tried and failed to annex. I think the Southern Bypass will open the area up a bit once completed. I agree with everyone else; breaking off into a separate city would only cause more problems than it would solve.

US 231 isn't necessarily a road to nowhere either. There is Arab, AL down the road about 30 miles from downtown. Also, before I-65 and I-565 came along, US 231 was part of highway from Huntsville to Birmingham. US 231 and Alabama Highway 79 form a lesser-known route between Birmingham and Huntsville.

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