Saddle Lake Farms bill passes full HousePublished 2:25pm Tuesday, April 1, 2014
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
A bill allowing Saddle Lake Farms residents to decide if they will be annexed into Alabaster is awaiting the governor’s signature after it gained unanimous approval from the Alabama House of Representatives on April 1.
In a phone call shortly before 1:40 p.m. on April 1, state Rep. Mike Hill, R-Columbiana, said the bill had passed the House without a dissenting vote. The full house vote came about two weeks after the Shelby County House of Representatives delegation agreed to support the bill and present it to the full house.
The bill passed the Alabama Senate on March 19.
The bill, if approved by the governor, will annex an about 40-acre piece of property adjacent to Saddle Lake Farms into Alabaster, making the neighborhood contiguous to Alabaster city limits.
If the bill receives the governor’s signature, it will allow Saddle Lake residents to begin a petition to annex into Alabaster. If the petition receives the required number of signatures, neighborhood residents could then present the petition to the Alabaster City Council to consider.
If the council receives the petition with the required number of signatures, it likely will vote on the matter during an upcoming meeting, council members said previously.
If Saddle Lake is not in Alabaster city limits for the upcoming school year, some students in the neighborhood would be rezoned for Columbiana schools as a result of separation negotiations between the Alabaster and Shelby County school systems.
The annexation issue has sparked debate among Saddle Lake residents, as some said they want to annex into Alabaster to be a part of the Alabaster City School System and others said they do not want to annex for financial and taxation reasons.
On March 20, the Shelby County House of Representatives delegation, which consists of Reps. Mary Sue McClurkin, April Weaver, Jim Cairns, Mike Hill, Jim McClendon and Kurt Wallace, issued a letter stating they decided to support the bill so Saddle Lake children would not see changes in school zoning for the 2014-2015 school year.