Westover adopts 280 overlay

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Westover Town Council has taken unanimous action to allow for the replacement of grandfathered business or residential structures destroyed beyond repair by fire or natural disaster.

Also during the council’s Tuesday, May 17 meeting over the lone &uot;no&uot; vote of Councilmember Susan Wooten, the council adopted Highway 280 Overlay Regulations and Planned Unit Development Guidelines.

Mayor Mark McLaughlin said actions taken to allow the replacement of existing grand fathered businesses or residences destroyed beyond repair were approved because that was the &uot;intent of the Planning Commission and the Council&uot; and to provide &uot;clarifying language.&uot;

The Zoning and Subdivision Committee requested the action. The council approved a resolution to allow the replacements and authorized the issue of the necessary building permits.

Wooten was opposed to the zoning amendment ordinance that adopted the Highway 280 Overlay regulations and Planned Unit Development Guidelines.

When asked why, Wooten said, &uot;I voted no on the amendment to the zoning ordinance that does not allow manufactured homes on individual lots in the residential neighborhoods.

&uot;This is something that I fought to keep in the ordinance while I was on the planning commission and strongly believe that this amendment is not in the best interests of the citizens of Westover,&uot; she said.

According to Wooten, &uot;The 280 overlay and the PUD ordinance were combined with the zoning amendment and I could not vote yes on those two items because I would have been voting yes on something that I am strictly against.

I believe that no one has the right to tell a person what type of home they can put on their property.&uot;

Mayor Mark McLaughlin said the ordinance amendment of the town’s zoning ordinance to adopt the Overlay Regulations and PUD address recommendations of the town’s planning commission.

He said previously the recommendation for the Highway 280 Overlay follows the desires expressed by residents during discussion of the town’s comprehensive plan. And he noted 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, he 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.

The council also 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 amended ordinance. However, he said, the PUD allows the town to give developers the parameters within which they must work.