Alabaster looking to annex Saddle Lake subdivision
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
Alabaster leaders are working with the Carmeuse Lime company and other property owners in the Saginaw community to possibly annex the Saddle Lake Farms subdivision into the city.
Alabaster City Council members discussed the matter during a Dec. 9 work session, during which the council heard from several residents interested in being annexed into the city.
Saddle Lake Farms is off Massey Road just east of Alabaster’s city limits. Because the neighborhood is not contiguous to the city’s limits, City Council President Scott Brakefield said the city is working with Carmeuse to possibly annex a 10-foot easement strip running through Carmeuse’s property off Shelby County 26.
If the city annexes the easement connecting Alabaster’s city limits to Saddle Lake Farms, it would allow the City Council to vote on annexing the neighborhood.
“It is, by far, not a done deal at this point, but we appreciate the lime plant for even considering this,” Brakefield said. “We still need to talk with a few other property owners too before we can move forward.”
Brakefield said several Saddle Lake Farms residents have expressed concern about the neighborhood’s future school zoning.
After the Alabaster School System finalized its split from the Shelby County School System, the two school systems reached an agreement to gradually rezone students who are not in Alabaster’s city limits but who currently are zoned for Alabaster schools.
But beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, kindergarten and sixth-grade students living outside the city limits will be transferred to their closest Shelby County School System schools.
In the 2015-2016 school year, the transfers will affect kindergarten, first, sixth and seventh grades. In the 2016-2017 school year, the transfers will expand to kindergarten, first, second, sixth, seventh and eighth grades.
The 2017-2018 school year will see the list expand to kindergarten-third and sixth-ninth grades. The 2018-2019 year will expand to kindergarten-fourth and sixth-10th grade, and the 2019-2020 year will include kindergarten-11th grades.
After 2020, only students in Alabaster’s city limits will attend Alabaster schools.
“Obviously, the school system is driving this,” Brakefield said of the Saddle Lake annexation request. “With next year being the first year that some students will be rezoned for other schools, some people are starting to get antsy.”