Changes To West Fairview Ave. Coming, Public Input Needed

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By Catalina Trivino

The city of Montgomery has been trying to renovate West Fairview Avenue for months. Some parts were going to have SMART Code restrictions, which allows people to live and  work in the same development. And city leaders hoped that plan would bring more businesses in the future. But that's no longer happening.

Montgomery Mayor, Todd Strange, says the plan to use SMART Code on West Fairview Avenue has already prevented some businesses from coming to that area. So they're nixing that idea, and starting from square one -- and they need the community's suggestions on what they want to see changed.

Changes for West Fairview Avenue have been in the works for years...

"Down Fairview it's... it just ain't the best looking side down here," Said Chester Swanson, who lives near West Fairview Avenue.

But some of those changes have come to a halt. City leaders say businesses stopped filling in empty storefronts because of the city's SMART Code zoning ordinance.
    
"Over the last several years we've seen at least 3 opportunities that the developer would not go forward under a smart code provision so what we've tried to do in that particular area, is review smart code and take away some of the elements of smart code," Said Montgomery Mayor, Todd Strange.

So what elements does the city want to keep to propose to you?

  • extend side walks throughout the whole street.
  • Add more greenery...
  • Relocate utility poles to the south side of the street and have less of them.
  • Fill 8 acres on Lanier Court with homes.

Joe Williams owns a restaurant on West Fairview Avenue. He wants to see less empty storefronts.

"For instance, they don't have anything over there where the laundry place used to be. They go other places that don't have anything," Said Joe Williams, owner of Joe's Buffalo Wings And Ribs.

But in the last year, the city has renovated nearly a dozen storefronts, including his, which  makes his restaurant more visible to customers.

"Business yeah -- as far as the customers coming in, it's better, much better," Said Williams.

And with plans to possibly renovate more businesses, along with the public's input on what they want to see on this street, Swanson believes the more renovations, the more business.
    
"It would bring more business into the city," Said Swanson.

Want to give your suggestions?
A public planning input meeting scheduled for Tuesday 6-7:30 p.m at Cleveland Avenue YMCA. Renderings and concepts for potential plans will be available.