Pelham apartment decision pending traffic fixes

A decision on a proposed apartment complex in Pelham is pending traffic upgrades on Shelby County 52. (File)

A decision on a proposed apartment complex in Pelham is pending traffic upgrades on Shelby County 52. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A Pelham City Council decision on a rezoning request to allow a new 228-unit apartment complex on Huntley Parkway is pending a plan to ease traffic congestion on Shelby County 52, a City Council member said on Jan. 7.

“We are waiting to see what improvements can be done on 52, particularly with the I-65 access,” Councilman Ron Scott said. “I am cautiously optimistic that we can get a project designed and constructed to alleviate the traffic.”

The City Council currently is considering a request from C&A Enterprises to rezone a piece of currently vacant property on Huntley Parkway to accommodate a new apartment complex.

During an August 2013 public hearing on the matter, several Pelham residents expressed concern about the proposed apartment complex’s impact on rush hour traffic along Shelby County 52 west of Interstate 65.

In September, the council agreed to table the rezoning request to allow the developer to present proposals to ease traffic in the area. Since then, the developer has submitted a proposal to add an additional turn lane from Shelby County 52 eastbound onto I-65 northbound to allow vehicles to more easily access the interstate.

On Jan. 7, Council President Rick Hayes said the city has met with the Alabama Department of Transportation and the Shelby County Highway Department to discuss the plan, but said the traffic project has not yet been finalized.

“The city is on board with this. Those (traffic improvements) need to happen,” Hayes said. “We have had discussions with ALDOT and Shelby County just to make sure everything was agreed upon. I think we can get something approved.”

Scott praised C&A Enterprises for showing a willingness to work with the city to improve the traffic flow in the area, and said improving traffic on Shelby County 52 will remove an obstacle for the rezoning request.

“At the public hearings, 90 percent of the concerns (about the new apartment complex) were related to traffic,” Scott said.