County plan moves forward

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Shelby County Commissioners will vote at the end of this month on a 30-year plan intended to foster community growth.

The county’s Planning Commission approved the plan last week following a public hearing.

The county’s Development Services staff spent three years developing the comprehensive plan, which aims to support concentrated neighborhoods while maintaining green space in rural areas.

A full crowd packed a conference room at the county services building in Pelham during the public hearing.

Seven people spoke out on issues related to the comprehensive plan. Several members of the public asked staff members and planning commissioners about imposing impact fees on builders and developers.

&uot;We have dealt with it,&uot; said Planning Commission Chairman Ralph Thomas.

&uot;We recommended that a study be made to determine if one is needed and how.&uot;

One specific section of the comprehensive plan calls for a study on impact fees to consider charging builders for use of infrastructure in the county.

One person representing the realty industry said that developers are vital to the county’s growth.

Todd McDonald, planning services supervisor, said success of the comprehensive plan is dependent upon cooperation between the county, developers and municipalities.

He referred to cooperation between the Department of Development Services and the cities of Westover, Wilsonville, Montevallo and Chelsea, among others.

&uot;These little fiefdoms don’t work anymore. We’ve got to figure out a way to get past city limits because the road doesn’t stop at city limits. It keeps on going,&uot; McDonald said.

Following the public comments, planning commissioners voted unanimously to accept the comprehensive plan.

County commissioners are expected to vote on the plan at the end of October or early November