Indian Springs council to hold hearing on comprehensive plan

Indian Springs Village will hold a public hearing to discuss the third draft of a new comprehensive plan for the town at a July 8 meeting.

The hearing will take place at the town’s Zoning and Planning Commission regular meeting at the North Shelby Library at 7 p.m.

Chairman Jerry Templeton said he hopes the Planning Commission can come to an agreement on the revised plan so it can be recommended for adoption by the town council.

&uot;I think it’s time to get it finished,&uot; Templeton said. &uot;We’ve spent almost a year on it.&uot;

The draft, which has twice been revised to address concerns of residents, was developed in coordination with a citizen committee.

&uot;There was a lot of miscommunication about the first plan,&uot; Templeton said.

The idea of the comprehensive plan is to serve as a guide, he said, a &uot;kind of road map for future planning.&uot;

One part of the plan removed from previous drafts included a section regarding the widening of Alabama Highway 119.

&uot;That got totally misconstrued,&uot; Templeton said. &uot;They were thinking we wanted 119 widened.&uot;

Templeton said the section only suggested landscaping for the median if the project were to occur.

He said the call for widening the highway would have to come from higher sources.

&uot;The state and federal governments will decide what they want to do.&uot;

Also nixed was a section concerning the establishment of a Re-development Authority.

That section was removed at the request of the citizen committee but Templeton said town officials &uot;retain the power&uot; even if it is not spelled out in the plan.

Indian Springs, referred to as a &uot;bedroom community&uot; in the plan, is primarily made up of residential areas.

The plan calls the town a &uot;rural oasis&uot; for surrounding urban areas.

More than 95 percent of Indian Springs is zoned residential, Templeton said.

&uot;Indian Springs’ biggest challenge is trying to preserve its rural character in the face of increasing growth pressures and annexation from neighboring municipalities,&uot; according to the latest draft of the comprehensive plan.

The draft calls for a &uot;Village Commercial Center&uot; and outlines commercial districts to remain along Alabama Highway 119, Caldwell Mill Road and Cahaba Valley Road.

The small town of 2,200 has developed a reputation as being &uot;anti-development,&uot; but Templeton said that’s not necessarily the case.

He said most of the land with commercial possibility is actually outside town limits in unincorporated areas.

Templeton also said that claims about Indian Springs’ beginnings are based on a misconception that the town was founded to avoid commercial growth.

&uot;That’s not really true,&uot; he said. &uot;Indian Springs Village was created for the town to have its own say so. Regulating commercial activity is part of that. People, I think, are stuck in the history.&uot;

But, he says, preserving the community’s identity and rural atmosphere must be done so according to certain guidelines.

&uot;We are required to and will follow our ordinances, regulations and laws.&uot;