Our Founding Fathers established Fairhope with Vision and Planning. They planned the “downtown” with wide streets surrounded by residential lots forming the heart of, and foundation for, what our City has become. It has been said that great parks developed by Olmsted (Central Park) and later the lake front parks by Daniel Burnham inspired Fairhope’s open spaces and public parks providing water access to all residents. Without this foresight, Fairhope could have been just another sprawling city with no heart.
The original vision for Fairhope has been improved over time. In the mid 80’s, the visionary US 98 grassroots committee spearheaded dramatic changes planting thousands of Live Oaks up and down the highway with stringent sign ordinances kicking off the desire for our City to do even better.
Looking to other innovative thinkers like Walt Disney inspired more beautification projects such as street trees, flowers in parks and street corners, painted trash cans with flowers on top… and just about anywhere else you can think of where flowers could fit, they were planted. No wonder everyone wanted to live here!
Growth continued. The creative vision faded over the past twenty years with reactionary decisions resulting in haphazard development and approximately two thirds of the area that makes up Fairhope left unzoned. Just about anything can be developed in this unincorporated area and no efforts have been made to incentivize annexation to protect the way we grow.
In the last eight years facing 44 percent growth rate, now more than ever citizens are very concerned with the unpredictable and undesired development that will most certainly affect your quality of life. The Comprehensive Plan in place is no longer “comprehensive” and does not provide guidance and strategies that are required to keep Fairhope special and we have a lot of catching up to do!
Fairhope’s future WILL be preserved through a $650k RESTORE-funded, World-class Comprehensive Land-Use Plan. Just as parks and open space were critical to the original plan of Fairhope, parks and open space will continue to serve as the backbone for our future planning with meaningful community-engaged decision making.
We can no longer afford reactionary decisions without your input. Residents started this petition to support the Collaborative Strategic Planning effort coming very soon which will serve as a roadmap for our future. I fully endorse it and hope you will too. Petition Supporting Proactive Planning
Mayor Karin Wilson, City of Fairhope