500 apartments, townhouses planned for Priceville property

WAAY 31 spoke with folks who live next to the farmland and learned what they think about the possible development.

Posted: Jan 31, 2019 8:54 PM

The town of Priceville could see some big development in the near future.

According to officials, about 500 homes and some businesses are on the radar for a chunk of farmland that was recently rezoned.

Developers are planning to build something much like the Village of Providence in Huntsville on the Priceville property.

WAAY 31 spoke with folks who live next to the farmland and learned what they think about the possible development.

“I didn’t want to live in a big town," Bly Panter said. "I wanted to be centrally located and have access to that, but I don’t want to be in it.”

Panter told WAAY 31 he bought his home in Priceville because he liked the small-town feel.

So, when he heard that the farmland behind his home will soon hold about 500 high-end apartments and townhouses, as well as retail and office space, he wasn’t a big fan.

“I’ve never understood why there’s anything wrong with things kind of staying the same," he said. "I would like to see it stay just the way it is. The property values may go up—that doesn’t interest me at all. I don’t care.”

And he’s not the only one who feels that way.

“To not have that laidback atmosphere anymore, and that invasion of privacy, it’s concerning for us," Jill Marchese said. "We wanted that peaceful setting for our boys.”

Marchese says the farmland behind her home was a big reason she and her family moved to Priceville, and she’s a little worried about what new development could mean for her community.

“The traffic congestion and the possibility for more crime with all the new businesses and things, we might possibly consider moving," Marchese said.

WAAY 31 talked with other neighbors who were in favor of the new development and they told us they like the idea of being able to do things at home instead of having to go out of town.

Panter says, if the majority of people feel that way, he’ll make do with the new development.

“I’ll get along with it," he said. "I may not like it, I may grumble about it sometimes, but I’ll live with it.”

According to officials, groundbreaking for the new development is expected in four to six months.

The mayor of Priceville told WAAY 31 the development should attract future employees of the Mazda-Toyota plant and will be good for nearby schools as well.

WAAY 31 reached out to Morgan County Schools Superintendent Bill Hopkins and he told us that Priceville High School currently has room for about 150 more students. He also said that, if they needed some more room, they could easily add another wing to the building.

However, when it comes to the nearby elementary and middle schools, he told us construction would definitely need to happen, and he says they're already looking at potential options.

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