County to ask Alabaster for continuance on Camp Branch rezoning request

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Shelby County will ask the Alabaster Planning and Zoning Board to delay voting for up to two months on a proposed plan to allow the county’s Highway Department to remove chert from the Camp Branch community.

The planning and zoning board was set to vote July 26.

“We’re going to go to the zoning meeting tomorrow night and ask for a continuance, perhaps for as long as two months,” County Engineer Randy Cole said during the July 25 meeting of the Shelby County Commission. “We’re going to ask them that so we can do our due diligence.”

The county has asked the planning and zoning board to rezone about 27 acres near the intersection of Shelby County 26 and Camp Branch Road from residential to heavy industrial.

If the property is rezoned, the county would then remove chert, a material the county’s highway department uses to build roads, from the property, which is owned by the Carmeuse Lime company.

The rezoning request originally came before the planning and zoning board during its June 28 meeting, but the board agreed to delay voting on the matter until July 26.

“We’re going to ask them [to delay voting July 26] so we can do our due diligence,” Cole said. “We’re exploring that option as well as other options on Carmeuse property and other options around the county.”

Cole said the highway department needs a “very large, sustainable source of chert” and the proposed site would offer that for as long as 20 years.

Earlier in the county commission meeting, during public comment, three Camp Branch residents spoke in opposition to the county’s plan. In addition, commissioners were presented with a petition signed by 414 area residents who are against the plan.