280 overlay, zoning again on Westover agenda

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The town council of Westover has adopted the International Building Code, but an ordinance to adopt the Highway 280 Overlay Regulations and Planned Unit Development Guidelines for the town will have to wait until next Tuesday.

At the council’s Tuesday, May 3 regular meeting, an ordinance to adopt the overlay regulations and PUD guidelines received a first reading.

However, as there was no motion to suspend the rules, the issue will come up for a vote at the next regularly scheduled meeting.

Mayor Mark McLaughlin said the ordinance amendment addresses recommendations of the town’s planning commission.

He previously reported that the recommendation for the Highway 280 overlay follow the desires expressed by residents during discussion of the town’s comprehensive plan.

The overlay regulations have been adopted by Birmingham, Homewood, Hoover, Jefferson County, Mountain Brook and Shelby County.

&uot;When we held our comprehensive planning process, people were adamant about qualify of life issues,&uot; McLaughlin said.

He said such matters included, &uot;how the town looked as it developed&uot; with regard to issues like signage and access roads.

McLaughlin said since that was what came out of those comprehensive plan public meetings, the overlay regulations are a tool to help achieve those goals.

More specifically, McLaughlin said, the 280 overlay deals with building design and orientation, exterior lighting, walls and fixtures, grading and drainage.

He said the city’s own sign ordinance, however, is more restrictive than the overlay and will be kept in place.

On March 29, the Planning and Zoning Board held a public hearing on the issues; on April 19, the council held one on the Highway 280 overlay, and on May 3, the council held another hearing on the PUD.

No one expressed objections at either of the council’s two public hearings.

When asked why the council did not go ahead and vote on the overlay and PUD at its May 3 meeting, McLaughlin responded that as the issues at hand are changes to the zoning ordinance, the council decided to let the matter follow standard procedure.

He said, however, he did not anticipate any problems with passage of the ordinance at the council’s next regular meeting set for May 17 at 7 p.m.

The council previously approved a six-month moratorium on new Class A mobile homes in the town in areas other than those zoned rural residential and agricultural rural preserve.

McLaughlin said a permanent moratorium on manufactured homes is a part of the proposed ordinance. However, he said, the PUD allows the town to give developers the parameters within which they must work.

Michael Sampsell of the Planning Commission recommended PUB regulations be approved. He also said plans for a town engineer would be finalized for the next meeting