Windstone residents continue push for deannexation
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
Pelham residents in the Windstone subdivision are continuing to push for deannexation from the city in the wake of Pelham’s proposed city school district.
Windstone is off Shelby County 36 directly south of Chelsea High School, but a portion of the neighborhood is in Pelham’s city limits.
“When you go into our subdivision, you are in Chelsea. The first 20 homes are in Chelsea, and there’s no line or marker to tell you you’ve crossed into Pelham,” Windstone resident Rhonda Gross told members of the Pelham City Council during an Aug. 5 meeting. “Any reasonable person wouldn’t know they were in Pelham.”
Pelham leaders are considering breaking away from the Shelby County School system to form a separate city school system. If Pelham breaks away, all children in Pelham city limits could be required to attend Pelham schools, Shelby County School Superintendent Randy Fuller said previously.
Though they live in Pelham city limits, residents in Windstone and several other neighborhoods off Shelby County 11 currently are zoned for Chelsea schools.
During an early July public hearing on the proposed city school system, Pelham Windstone residents presented Pelham City Council members with a petition for deannexation signed by 95 percent of the neighborhood’s Pelham residents.
“That number is up to 97 percent now,” Gross said on Aug. 5.
Gross and fellow Windstone resident Ivy Wilson said they were worried about their property values dropping if they are zoned for Pelham schools in the future.
“Truly, who is going to buy my house when you’ve got to drive 36 minutes without traffic from my driveway to Riverchase Middle School?” Wilson said.
A sign on a stone marker originally marked the Pelham-Chelsea line in Windstone, but the sign has since been removed, Gross said.
Pelham City Council President Rick Hayes said the city supports keeping all Windstone residents zoned for Chelsea schools, even if Pelham forms its own school system.
“We agree. You shouldn’t have to leave the schools your kids are attending,” Hayes said. “We are trying to work your issue. There is no precedent for this.”