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Tough battle ahead for Baldwin County business proposal

(WPMI) Tough battle ahead for Baldwin County business proposal
(WPMI) Tough battle ahead for Baldwin County business proposal

A small business venture on family land is facing opposition in Baldwin County.

The Weeks family, a family with a long history along Weeks Bay and the Magnolia Springs area, may be in for the fight of their lives. Right now it's 27 acres of land with not much on it other than a dream to continue a local legacy.

"My grandmother had a restaurant for 40 years, and when she got ready to retire, none of her children wanted to carry on her legacy," said Grant Weeks who wants to continue the legacy of a Creole restaurant in South Baldwin County.

It's been his dream all along.

His family owns the land: 27 acres at the corner of County Roads 49 and 26. Grant made it his mission to study business and culinary with the goal of someday opening his own Creole restaurant.

Neighbor Chris Durham was the one property owner adjacent to the land who opposed the development. Traffic, noise, lighting and drainage were all concerns.

"What are we going to do with our water situation here? Well we have intentions of putting in a large retention pond in place to take care of our water situation on the property. We don’t want to force water on anybody else we know. That's not right," said Ronne Weeks, Grant's Father.

At first the Zoning Commission agreed to recommend the restaurant. But after considering those negative concerns, it has now recommended that the County Commission not approve the restaurant venue.

"If we don’t withdraw our application within seven days, we have to wait a full year before we can reapply to get this property rezoned," said Grant Weeks.

The Weeks family's dream is up in the air even after more than 500 people signed an online petition in support. Grant's wife, Maritza, says she wants to keep that dream alive.

"This is the one opportunity that we are not going to let go, because we are really excited for it. I think that once the people see what we have to offer, I think they are going to change their mind," said Maritza.

County Commissioner Charles Skip Gruber, who represents the area, says he is weighing all aspects of the proposal. The full Commission will vote Tuesday, December 15.