Developer Jeff Parker assured neighbors of the former Morgan County Fairgrounds property this week that he will keep a planned warehouse on the site from becoming an irritant.

Richard Henry and Terri Rossi told the Planning Commission on Tuesday that they were happy to see Parker purchase the property last year and end the Morgan County Fair, which they said annually disrupted their Southwest Decatur neighborhood.

Rossi, a Sweetbriar Road Southwest resident, said, “Anything is better than the fair. What we really want is a commitment to doing a buffer of 20 feet that doesn’t look like a disaster.”

And Rossi said she doesn’t want empty promises like they got when Walmart was built on Spring Avenue Southwest.

“They never did what they promised (with landscaping) for Walmart,” Rossi said.

Henry, who lives on Stoneway Drive Southwest, said he “wishes” Parker would consider a residential development instead of a business development.

“We already hear the forklift running and we see the lights (from Home Depot),” Henry said. 

Parker said his partnership, Land Services LLC, plans to build a 60-foot-by-160-foot warehouse with offices. He doesn’t have a tenant yet. The Planning Commission voted to recommend rezoning the 31 acres of the former fairgrounds property from agricultural to M1A, expressway commercial.

Parker said in the Planning Commission meeting that he plans to leave a 10-foot buffer that’s on the south and west sides of the property.

“I think you’ll be happy with what we do,” Parker told Rossi and Henry. “Lights and noise aren’t in the plans.”

Planning Commission Chairman Kent Lawrence said the Technical Review Committee had some concerns about 18-wheelers driving on some of the neighborhood roads in the area.

Parker said the size of warehouse will limit the number of trucks, and the few trucks that do make deliveries will follow the same route as the Home Depot trucks.

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(1) comment

Chuck Johns

Eighteen wheelers will drive on whatever street they pleas, and the city of decatur will do nothing about it. I live on a short residential street that eighteen wheelers use EVERY DAY I can't tell you the last time I saw a police vehicle patrol this area. There are signs clearly posted on Highway 67 and at the entrance to the street, but truck drivers will always do as they please without repercussion. Parker is bringing a nuisance to your neighborhood. You'll have to deal with yours like I deal with mine.

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