Apartments allowed on Magnolia property

Published 9:38 pm Thursday, June 15, 2017

LaGRANGE – On Tuesday, the LaGrange City Council approved a zoning change on the property at 1005 S. Davis Road – better known as the Magnolia property – to allow a developer to place apartments on the property.

The decision came after debate in earlier council meetings about the potential the property would have held as a traditional community due to the previous developer’s infrastructure investments on the property. Ultimately the council approved the rezoning to allow the apartments.

“The investment lost was not lost on the part of the city,” Councilman Tom Gore said. “It was lost on behalf of the developer.”

Gore, along with several other councilmembers admitted that they liked the idea of the traditional development. However, there has been little interest shown by developers in almost a decade since the Magnolia development was initially proposed, so the council prioritized the need for more homes over other potential uses for the property.

The city has been acutely aware of the need for more housing options in recent years due to the introduction of new businesses to the area. The city council noted that in order to attract more chain restaurants — and other resident friendly additions — more residents is a necessity.

“We need rooftops to command that we get those things to come,” Councilmember Willie Edmundson said.

Some discontent was voiced at the council’s decision during the meeting, but the council stood by its decision.

“You’ve got people leaving LaGrange right now for different housing options,” Local Realtor Kendall Butler said. “This was selling a community and a vision.”

Butler advocated for stronger efforts to attract a traditional development to the location at an earlier city council meeting.

The LaGrange City Council is scheduled to meet again on June 27 at 5:30 p.m. at 208 Ridley Ave.