White Avenue Park Timeline
The following is a timeline of events involving White Ave Park. Every point is backed by City documents and Court records.
- 1931 - Fairhope Single Tax donates land to the City of Fairhope under what is known as "The Parks Deed"
- 2007 - Adjacent property owner tries to build pier, City sues to block private pier construction.
- 2011-2014 - Adjacent property owner sues to assume ownership under adverse possession law, loses case, property returned to Fairhope Single Tax.
- 2014 - Fairhope Single Tax gifts land to the City under the Parks Deed.
- 2015 - Adjacent property owner continues suing resulting in Alabama Supreme Court Warhurst v. City of Fairhope Case Nos. 1131328 and 1140533; loses both cases.
- 2016 - June 20th, Adjacent property owner receives a variance from the City reducing construction setback lines from 6' 2" to 1'.
- 2017 - Adjacent property owner knowingly builds house as close as possible to property lines.
- 2018 - Talks begin in earnest by the Fairhope Single Tax to renovate White Ave park.
- 2019 - First plans of the renovation shown to the City.
- 2020-2022 - Fairhope Single Tax revises plan with City input.
- 2022 - May 15th, Mayor Sullivan asks City Public Works Director Richard Johnson for a start date for the renovation.
- 2022 - May 23th, Mayor Sullivan lays out the timeline, City commitments and project start date for the third week in August to the City Council.
- 2022 - August 8th, 12:55pm, Mark Nix, adjacent property owner to the north of the park and CEO of Infirmary Health, owner of Thomas Hospital, using his work email, sends a message to Mayor Sullivan threatening a lawsuit if development of the public park continues. Nix offers to call or meet in person to avoid having "to put your thoughts in writing.".
Email from Nix to Mayor Sullivan Threatening Lawsuit
- 2022 - August 9th 10:25am, Public Works Director Richard Johnson lays out an updated work schedule, renovation to start late September or early October.
- 2022 - August 9th 1:08pm Mayor Sullivan emails Johnson to "talk to you about the email Mark Nix sent."
- 2022 - August 10th, Project stalls.
- 2022 - October 19th, City sends a certified letter stating "To clarify the boundary of public property, the City intends to install signs and other markers to delineate the public park." and a copy of the property survey to adjacent property owners Warhurst and Nix.
Certified Letter from the City Attorney to Adjacent Property Owners
- 2023 - February 14th, Project refuted by Mayor Sullivan at Fairhope Single Tax meeting.
- 2023 - February 27th, City Council meeting where Council President Jay Robinson stated, "I do think the plan is and was....for that to be made usable for public purposes for certain. That's something that's gotta be discussed between the City and Single Tax.".