Alabaster withdraws Camp Branch rezoning request

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Alabaster Planning and Zoning Board voted unanimously during its Sept. 27 meeting to withdraw a request to rezone 27 acres in the city’s Camp Branch community from residential to heavy industrial.

In July, Shelby County officials asked the city to rezone the land off Shelby County 26 so the county’s Highway Department could remove chert from the land. The Highway Department uses chert to pave roads.

However, after the county asked the city to rezone the land, more than 50 Camp Branch residents attended a late July Alabaster Planning and Zoning Board meeting to voice their opposition to the county’s plan.

Several Camp Branch residents told Alabaster officials mining chert from the land could damage property values and damage the community’s image.

The Alabaster Planning and Zoning board was originally scheduled to vote on the rezoning during its Sept. 27 meeting, but county officials mailed the city a letter requesting the item be withdrawn from consideration a few days before the meeting.

In early September, county Highway Department officials announced they would attempt to purchase about 20 acres adjacent to the county’s current chert pit off Shelby County 109.

After the Alabaster Planning and Zoning Board voted to withdraw the request during the Sept. 27 meeting, about 20 Camp Branch residents in attendance erupted into applause.

“This has been a long three months for us, and we thank you for putting up with us,” Camp Branch resident Bobby Ellison told the board. “I just want to say thank you from this bunch of people sitting here tonight.”