House: New subdivisions needed in Montevallo

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bob House of House Consultants Inc. doesn&8217;t see the future growth of Montevallo following the same path as those selected by citizens during meetings led by representatives from the Shelby County Department of Development Services.

In an efforts to continue the development of a new comprehensive plan for the city, House a hired consultant for the city of Montevallo, recently met with citizens and city officials to review previous meeting results.

According to House, the most popular development scenario selected by the public had the lowest density residential and least commercial property. And he said all concentration is on the downtown area.

He said downtown growth should be encouraged, but new areas are needed for new subdivisions and Highway 25 needs to be opened to growth.

House said Montevallo needs &8220;a little bit of everything.&8221;

Another feature selected by the public was a bypass around the downtown area to remove truck traffic.

But House said &8220;bypasses are dangerous&8221; because they not only remove truck traffic from downtown but vehicle traffic as well.

House questioned how many people would be willing to move into downtown.

He also said the fastest way to kill a business district is to build a bypass.

Still citizens indicated that traffic is the reason for no pedestrian traffic in downtown. One citizen responded, &8220;Leaving heavy traffic downtown is dangerous too.&8221;

Another man said, &8220;We need an &8216;in pass&8217; a way for people coming in from the interstate.&8221;

House said he would continue to look at the bypass issue.

House said it is important to link County Road 12 and 119, which would disburse traffic, but at least the roads would be linked.

House said the city needs both to create positive business climate and residential climate.

He spoke of the need for hotels and asked, &8220;If you come to Montevallo, where are you going to stay at night.&8221;

He also said the proposed National Cemetery would generate a demand for hotels.

As to embracing the University of Montevallo, House said &8220;a lot can&8217;t be done in a plan,&8221; but by &8220;people in the community. &8220;

He said requiring compatible development surrounding the American Village and the proposed National Cemetery is critical.

He said a committee is already looking into land disturbance regulations, and the city should require a balance in open space.

He said focus areas should be compact.

House said extension of public utilities should be done where citizens believe growth should occur.

House said he would present a draft comprehensive plan to discuss with the public the next time a meeting is called