Cracker Barrel opens doors in Calera this month

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Calera residents will soon have an additional option for eating out, as Cracker Barrel is set to open its doors to customers near the Super Wal-Mart on U.S. Highway 31.

The tentative opening date is Nov. 24, the day before Thanksgiving. Hiring at the new restaurant began Tuesday.

Some residents raised concerns about the additional sewage generated by Cracker Barrel.

Calera is already over-capacity for sewage treated at its wastewater treatment plant.

The city was fined earlier in the year and has been in violation of suspended solids and nutrients for sewage released from the plant into Buxahatchee Creek.

On Monday, Doug Smedley, superintendent of the wastewater treatment plant, said the facility is currently not in violation for suspended solids and nutrients.

He said the facility will soon have twice the capacity for treating sewage when a new tank comes on line at the end of this month.

The new tank at the southend wastewater treatment plant in Calera is part of an $11 million expansion to Calera’s sewage system.

A long list of zoning adjustments and board appointments marked Monday’s Calera City Council meeting.

Dozens of residents attended the meeting and some raised questions regarding a proposed 357-acre mixed-use development.

Edward Specialties appeared on the agenda three times for property rezonings.

Residents in the meeting audience raised half-a-dozen questions regarding their request to rezone 357 acres at the intersection of County Road 16 and Highway 25 from Municipal Reserve to Planned Unit Development (PUD).

Mike Kent, Calera’s zoning official, fielded questions and described the PUD zone as a mixed development.

The PUD zone is not broken down into specific zones internally.

Subsequent public hearings for preliminary plat approvals will determine what type of development goes in each parcel, Kent said.

Residents asked about drainage for the development. Others worried about the increased traffic generated.

Neighbors wondered how the development might affect them.

&uot;If you are an adjacent property owner, it does not affect you,&uot; he said.

Kent said the PUD zone allows light commercial development such as a convenience store. It also permits single and multi-family homes with sizes from 60 square feet to one-acre lots.

In other news from the Calera City Council:

* Council members passed a resolution in opposition to any future applications for a methadone clinic in Calera