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Public hearing set for living facility

The Brookhaven Board of Aldermen set a public hearing to addresshotly-contested issues with a planned downtown assisted livingfacility.

On a motion made by Ward Five Alderman D.W. Maxwell, the hearingwas set up to let the public weigh in on the issue of the height ofthe proposed five-story building, as well as whether or not therewill be bedrooms on the first floor.

“We’ve ruled on this as a judicial body on multiple occasions andadhered to the no residences on the first floor,” Maxwell said. “Weshould have a public hearing to present testimony so the board canfully hear it.”

On June 15, the board of adjustment OK’d the plans of developerGayle Evans, sending the decision back to the board ofaldermen.

The problems of whether or not to allow the height, which by cityordinance should not be above 55 feet, as well as the first floorbedrooms, will now be open to public discussion, Mayor LesBumgarner told the Evans coalition.

The board voted 6-1 in favor of the public hearing, with Ward ThreeAlderman Mary Wilson voting against it.

The public hearing will be held Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. at the city boardroom in the government complex.

Chance Evans, who has done a lot of the negotiating and work on theproject with his father, asked if the people who had problems withthe project will be present at the public hearing, to which themayor responded that he hoped so.

Meanwhile, Ward Four Alderman Shirley Estes presented a proposedpolicy against door-to-door salesmen and other street vendors whohave been visiting neighborhoods at hours that have brought somepublic outcry.

Estes recommended, and the board agreed unanimously, that vendorsnot be allowed to knock on doors except between the hours of 9 a.m.and 7 p.m., and not during the hours of darkness regardless of thetime of year.

City Attorney Joe Fernald said he’d look into the legality ofdisallowing door-to-door sales on Sunday as well.

In other board business, the board granted Public Works DirectorSteve Moreton permission to advertise for a street sweeper, whichis a budgeted item in the street department.

Aldermen pointed out that with the city hiring freeze, the streetdepartment has been doing the same amount of work whileunderstaffed.

“They’re working with fewer people,” said Ward Six Alderman DavidPhillips. “We should give them what they need to do the job.”