Voting, zoning maps redrawn for county Residents crowd commission meeting

Shelby County commissioners will send new voting and zoning maps to the U.S. Justice Department for approval before the 2004 primary elections, following a heated Monday night commission meeting.

There was standing room only in the commission chambers in Columbiana by the time Commission Chairman Lindsey Allison called the meeting to order.

Nineteen people spoke on the two new maps that separate voting districts from zoning beats.

Commissioners approved the zoning map with eight votes, with Commissioner Larry Dillard abstaining, and the voting precinct map passed unanimously.

Most of the estimated 100 citizens at the commission meeting seemed opposed to the new zoning map, which creates 12 beats instead of the former 21.

Commissioner Ted Crockett, who represents District Eight, drew criticism from some constituents.

Some people during Monday’s meeting said they supported zoning but wanted countywide zoning.

Many people who spoke Monday were from the 14th Beat of the current voting map.

This area includes Vandiver, Bear Creek Road and other areas along highways 41 and 43.

Don Brockway, an attorney representing homeowners in Shoal Creek, spoke before Monday’s vote, asking commissioners to delay voting on the zoning map.

&uot;Come up with a plan that won’t end up with litigation and division,&uot; Brockway urged the commission.

Commissioner Dillard, who abstained from voting on the zoning map, said he would like to wait to come up with another plan if there were time.

&uot;There’s too much unrest in this one area. If there were time, I’d like to give the community the opportunity to re-work the plan,&uot; Dillard said.

Dillard said residents can ask for the map to be amended