Alabaster delays decision on apartments

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The potential for a negative impact on schools and traffic have sent an apartment request near County Highway 11 back to the Alabaster Planning and Zoning Board.

A number of residents spoke about the negative impact on Monday night at the Alabaster City Council meeting.

Following the public hearing, the council voted over the lone objection of Councilmember Jim McClain to delay a rezoning request from Kenneth Carter for about eight-and-a-half acres in one parcel and about 37 acres in another.

Carter had requested the eight-acre area be changed from R-3 to B-3 and the 37 acres be chanced from R-3 to R-6. The project he has planned would include a commercial area at the front and 276 apartment units in the rear.

McClain voted &uot;no&uot; to the action to send the matter back to the Planning and Zoning Board along with additional data received by the city.

Councilmember Angela Moseley abstained from the vote.

McClain said he felt the issue should have been voted up or down (by the city council) Monday night.

Moseley said she abstained from the vote because of a business relationship with the developer.

In another matter, over the objection of Councilmember Jerry Workman, the council approved a rezoning request for some 27 acres at the end of Lake Lane off Highway 68 from R-3 to R-4 for Solid Ground Development.

The plan is for 89 homes on the land and the restoration of a lake that would encompass five acres.

Councilmember Tommy Ryals said with the current R-3 zoning, the developer could have put in more homes without the lake. He noted that the developer was restricting the homes there to 89.

Angela Purser, an adjacent landowner, said she had a court order preventing any change to her property.

However, an attorney for Solid Ground Development, John DeBuys, said he had looked at all the court documents and did not believe that was the ruling of the court.

Workman said he voted &uot;no&uot; because of the impact on Hickory Hills and County Road 68, indicating the plans did not include a turn lane.

In other matters, the council changed the date of its first meeting in September to Sept. 6 because of the Labor Day holiday.

The council also appointed council president Rick Walters to the Water Board. And while Walters thanked the council for its confidence in him, he abstained from the vote.

The council continued action on enforcement of certain code violations in the police jurisdiction until Aug. 1 and set a work session for July 25 at 7 p.m.

Earlier this month, Ryals said the city couldn’t enforce zoning ordinances in the police jurisdiction. But he said it could enforce subdivision regulations and nuisance ordinances.

During a previous meeting, Frings explained that while the city could go as far as five miles outside the city limits for such enforcement, officials are looking into going only three miles into the police jurisdiction to clean up areas surrounded by the city but not in the city limits.

He said he was not recommending extending fire services into the jurisdiction. But he said Alabaster would continue to support other cities on fire calls.

Frings further stated that Alabaster would not interfere with any other municipal jurisdiction.

Ryals said the council is not considering offering fire services or police services (other than issuing traffic citations, which are already being written) in the police jurisdiction, however.

Councilmember Mike Sherwood said of the possible action, &uot;It’s a good idea.&uot; But, he said, the city needs to look into the cost effectiveness.

According to Ryals, his question is that of imposing the city’s code enforcement outside the city limits on people &uot;who do not vote.&uot;

Also, on the recommendation of Councilmember Moseley, the council unanimously approved the appointment of Orville B. Wright and Brentley Dirr to the city’s Business and Marketing Board.

The two will serve terms until Feb. 28, 2007.

Wright is originally from Jamaica and operates a human resources consulting business, Wright Enterprises, in Alabaster.

He has a master’s degree in business administration and said he worked for Price Waterhouse as well as serving as human resources director for a couple of municipalities.

&uot;What I want to do is inject some new and innovative ideas&uot; to get businesses to look at Alabaster as a business opportunity.

He said that would help bring tax dollars to the city and help it continue to grow at the rate he said it needs to grow.

Dirr is an employee of Amsouth Bank in the area of loans and mortgages.

&uot;I hope to use my business expertise to help develop growth,&uot; he said.

He said he has been in Alabaster three years, and &uot;I think it is a wonderful, growing community, and I look forward to be being a part of its growth.&uot;

In another business related matter, the council approved a retail beer and retail table wine off premises only license application for Wal-Mart at the Colonial Promenade shopping center.

And in other previous council action, the council authorized the mayor’s office to proceed with Weatherly Connector Road (Alabaster Boulevard) water and sewer lines inside the city limits.

The connector road named Alabaster Boulevard connects the Colonial Promenade shopping center to the Weatherly subdivision.

According to McClain the water main there stops 1,800 feet short of the city limits.

In authorizing the mayor’s office to proceed with the extension, the council approved change orders that include $125,000 expense for fire hydrants and casings and a $45,000 expense with Insight for designing and overseeing the waterline extension.

It was also reported that the Alabaster Water Board would be responsible for about $5,000 of a $7,000 charge for extension of the waterline beyond the city limits