Appeal denied for landfill zoning

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Two developers were denied a reconsideration request for a proposed landfill near Calera on Tuesday morning.

They had not given up on their proposed landfill, despite being denied a request for rezoning by the Shelby County Planning Commission on March 17.

An attorney acting on behalf of Don Gilbert and Robert Turner had filed an appeal after the Planning Commission denied a request to rezone some 350 acres of land from A-1 agricultural to M-2 heavy industrial.

The rezoning would have allowed Alabama Construction and Demolition to build a construction and demolition landfill on the site.

The property is located off Highway 25 just west of Calera.

The review board denied the request based on the fact that they were convinced the information heard at Tuesday’s hearing had already been presented to the Planning Commission.

The final option for the developer and landowner would be to file suit in Shelby County Circuit Court in an attempt to have the ruling overturned.

Immediately following the Tuesday morning meeting, Roger Monroe, attorney for Gilbert and Turner, said he was uncertain whether his clients would pursue that option.

Adjoining and nearby property owners who attended the March meeting voiced opposition to the plans, citing traffic concerns and fear of decreased property values.

&uot;The property around this area is made up of single family dwellings, that consist mostly of elderly people who have bought this property to retire or have lived on this property all their lives and families with young children that have bought property here for the peace of mind that their children will have a small piece of land left to them in the future,&uot; said Debra Hall, an adjoining property owner in a letter to the Reporter.

Hall and other residents also stated concerns about the possibility of a future high school built near the area on land owned by the Shelby County Board of Education.

The developer and landowner contested, however, that much of the surrounding area was already industrial use land and that the proposed landfill was a &uot;reasonable&uot; use of the property.

According to minutes from the March meeting, as many as 30 heavy trucks would be expected to make daily trips to the landfill.

&uot;This highway has a high fatality rate,&uot; Hall said.

&uot;So if we increase traffic with trucks carrying construction materials to be dumped and we increase the amount of teenagers by an entire school entering and exiting from the same heavy tractor trailer laden roadway, this is definitely a mixture for disaster.&uot;

The hearing before the Planning Review Board was set up after the appeal was filed by Monroe.

The appeal called the Planning Commission’s denial &uot;unreasonable and discriminatory when viewed in light of all the evidence had before them at said time.&uot;

The review board could have upheld the Planning Commission’s decision or sent the case back to the commission for further review, said Todd McDonald of Shelby County Department of Planning and Development