Concerns about Aldi being Built on West Ash

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Decatur- The process has started to possibly build an Aldi food market on West Ash Avenue in Decatur. City officials have been contacted and a traffic survey has been conducted. The Assistant City Manager, Billy Tyus said, they had some questions regarding the traffic survey and they are waiting for a response.

Now the rezoning process has started. Julie Bresnan, a resident on West Ash Ave. said, many people in her neighborhood didn't know about the rezoning process until recent signs were added and she and two other women went door-to-door informing residents. So far they about 400 signatures from people who don't want the Aldi built.

Some residents in Decatur do not want an Aldi food market to be built, while others have agreed to selling their homes.

"It's just breaking up a good neighborhood, the whole neighborhood," said Bruce Baker.

"There are accidents especially around Christmas time and. . . traffic gets backed up so we just don't want to add anymore to our street," said Bresnan.

"Sometimes at night I can hear the cleaning crews at Walgreens and at Walmart. So can you imagine what it's going to be like right across the street from me," said Calden Hill.

Along with these concerns, some residents have more issues with lights shining at night, a decreasing property value and most of all the traffic coming in and out of Aldi.

"We have enough issues at this corner. We don't need more with a business at this corner," added Bresnan.

Calden Hill said she has been living on West Ash Ave. for 15 years. 

"I'm almost ready to retire. My husband and I bought this home and he is now passed away and I'm not intending to go any place. I'm going to stay here," said Hill.

They said, these homes fill a special space in their lives. Bruce Baker's wife built their home in the 70's, he said. 

Bresnan said, she has been occupying her home for 22 years. To get out of her driveway, she said, it's already a congested area and that will get worse when an Aldi is built across the street.

"The thought that we have to move because of the traffic flow and the lights.. that concerns me very much," added Bresnan.

After listening to their concerns, WAND's Brigette Burnett talked to Billy Tyus the Assistant City Manager.

He said, the rezoning request was made as a planned development meaning  "if you rezone a parcel to a planned development you have to do exactly what you said you would do on the plan. You can't deviate," Tyus said.

They city has not decided if they will rezone the area.

"We have to consider all parts of the discussion. We have to consider the fact that that corridor is one of the most heavily traveled corridors in our community and it has grown into a commercial center and we have to ensure and consider the needs of the residents in the neighborhood," Tyus added.

Tyus said, the council wants to hear the concerns of the public at the September 3rd zoning meeting at 3p.m. and at the September 21st council meeting.

An email to Aldi Corporate was sent. WAND did not receive a response back.

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