Traffic a concern for proposed apartment complex

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The Pelham City Council held an April 7 public hearing regarding the proposed rezoning of two adjacent lots on the east side of Huntley Parkway in order to accommodate the construction of a 184-unit luxury apartment complex.

The first piece of property is a 14.83-acre lot currently zoned PR-1 Planned Single Family District and PR2-Planned Attached Family District. The second is a 3.67-acre lot currently zoned B-2 General Business District. The apartment complex developer, C&A Enterprises, LLC has requested to rezone both pieces of property to PR-3 Planned Multiple Family District.

“We have been working on this for over a year,” said Charlie Beavers, the developer’s attorney, noting that C&A Enterprises cut down the number of units and purchased more property in order to “comply with regulations as they are.”

However, the primary concern voiced at the hearing was not the rezoning, but the implications the new complex would pose for traffic congestion on Huntley Parkway, Shelby County 52 and the merge onto Interstate 65.

As part of the building agreement, the apartment complex developer is required to install an extension on the existing turn lane onto I-65 North.

Engineer Darrell Skipper, of Skipper Consulting, explained the extension would “create a continuous merge onto I-65” independent of the traffic signal, and thus alleviate the current backups on Shelby County 52.

City Council President Rick Hayes added that this extension would be just the first step toward fixing the traffic problems around I-65, Shelby County 52 and Huntley Parkway, but he said with the extension there would be “no question it will be better than today.”

Councilwoman Karyl Rice also voiced support for the proposed apartment complex.

“Planning and Zoning has worked very hard to get this to come onto the agenda,” Rice said, adding the developers had “bent over backwards” to meet the demands placed on them.

The Pelham City Council will make a decision regarding the rezoning of the two lots on Huntley Parkway at their next meeting.