Residents Concerned Over Proposed Park's Location

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Officials with Dothan's Leisure Services Department say with the city's growth, a new park is needed. However, the proposed park's location has some residents concerned about crime going up and the quality of life and property value going down.

More than a dozen residents shared their concerns during the city of Dothan's public input meeting Tuesday morning.

A majority of them say they don't want the city's proposed Southwest Park going up in their neck of the woods.

"It is commonly surrounded by residential neighborhoods. I own property on Hampton Way and would be tremendously affected by this. So would my neighbors in Woodmere," says Kimberly Pfeiffer a concerned Dothan resident.

"It affects my quality of life. I'm an outdoor person. In the afternoon and the evening's I like to go outside, but I don't like to have all the noise pressure and the light pressure that I deal with when I'm at work," says David Rach, a representative of the Woodmere Neighborhood Association.

But not everyone who attended the public meeting, which poured out into the Dothan Civic Center Foyer, was in opposition of the park being built in their area.

"It's always easy to say, 'Not in my backyard. I don't want this in my backyard.' I think this is a wonderful backyard to have," said David Jamison, who also says the park would be good for him and other senior citizens so they may stay active.

The plan calls for the park to be on built on the Northside of Fortner Street on more than 151 acres.

It will cost $2.5 million dollars and will be about two miles from Westgate Park.

"To continue to grow and continue to expand you have to continue to build. We don't want to be stagnant at this point or stay behind. We have to build for the future," says Department of Leisure Services Director Anne Rumble.

City commissioners will put the vote on hold for a public meeting; they'll vote on the issue in two weeks.

District 5 Commissioner Taylor Barbaree said, "I'm your representative and I want to hear from you. That's why I asked for it to be tabled so I can hear from those who are not here."

Plans for the park have been in the works since 1996.

The public forum will be held Thursday at 6PM at the Church of the Nazarene on Honeysuckle Road.

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