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TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 2007
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Property to
benefit Moulton,
owners say

Truck stop not only
option for rezoned land

By Kristen Bishop
kbishop@decaturdaily.com 340-2443

MOULTON — A property owner vowed to bring in only businesses that would benefit Moulton after the City Council agreed to rezone his family's land at Alabama highways 157 and 33 for business Monday.

The rezoning proposal ignited debate this month after nearby residents spoke out against rumors that a truck stop was considering developing on the property.

Robert Richardson, who owns the eight-acre lot, told The Daily he had been in talks with a "major truck stop company" but declined to identify the potential buyer. Residents living across Alabama 33 from Richardson's land later revealed that the property owner had told them he was looking into Flying J Inc., a company based in Ogden, Utah.

Despite previous claims, Richardson's son, Bobby Richardson, said his family has merely researched Flying J Inc. to see if the land fits the company's requirements.

Bobby Richardson owns 9.3 acres of land that is also for sale across Alabama 33 from his father's property. That lot was already zoned for business.

Potential buyers

Richardson said he is talking to potential buyers, including a bank, "Dollar General-type stores," and a strip mall, that are interested in both properties.

"Hopefully, (the rezoning) will benefit Moulton with tax revenue and new jobs," he said. "I would never do anything to bring Moulton down. I was born and raised here and am in the process of moving back."

Nearby residents said they feared a truck stop or other large business would increase crime, litter and road damage in their neighborhood, but Bobby Richardson said he would not allow that to happen.

"We're selling the property to good businesses with good reputations and good security," he said.

Robert Richardson said before the council approved the rezoning that his property was priced at $600,000, but that the price would go up if the rezoning was approved.

The motion to approve the rezoning passed 3-1, with Councilwoman Joyce Jeffreys opposed.

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