Pridgen to step down from planning commission

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By Morgan Bryce

Opelika Observer
Staff Reporter

At the end of Tuesday afternoon’s planning commission meeting, Chairman Keith Pridgen announced that it would be his last meeting as the commission’s chairman, citing a need for someone new to take his place.
“Back in September, I sat down with the mayor and asked him to give me a few minutes of time to talk to him about the future of Opelika and the planning department. We’ve got a lot of changes going on, Jerry Kelley (director of the planning department) is retiring in January or December and we’ve got a new planning director in,” Pridgen said. “And after me being around the planning department for 23 years or so, I thought it was probably time to let some new blood come in as the new director came,”
Following a vote by the commission, longtime contractor and commission member Lewis Cherry was nominated as the new chairman, and Ira Silberman as vice chairman, effective for their Dec. 20 meeting.
“I appreciate the plan he [Fuller] has in place, and I’m trusting that it’s going to work well, and that the new group is going to come forward,” Pridgen said.
Fuller, who was in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting, said that he and other members of the commission planned to honor Pridgen’s years of service at their December meeting.
In other business, the commission:
– granted preliminary and final plat approval for two lots in the Hollingsworth SD, located 8484 Lee Road 146
– granted preliminary and final plat approval for two lots in the Corbett SD, located on Lee Road 160
– granted preliminary and final plat approval for the subdivision two lots on South Railroad Avenue
– granted preliminary plat approval for 45 lots in the Northbrook SD, located on Northbrook Drive
– granted final plat approval for 20 lots in the Sentinel Hills SD, located on Lee Road 177
– granted a conditional use request for an elevation review of a new King Honda dealership
– granted a conditional use request for the packaging and storage of products for delivery for Betsy Story and her business at 3306 Pepperell Parkway
– granted a conditional use request per a traffic study for an addition to the West Fraser Mill, located at 2100 Industrial Blvd.
– tabled discussion on granted preliminary and final plat approval for seven lots located in the Raintree Housing Development SD, located on Raintree Street
– tabled discussion on amending the city’s purpose and intent of zoning districts and planned public housing districts.

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