Planning Commission to review subdivision regulations

Published 9:40 pm Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Pelham Planning Commission announced they will begin to review the city's subdivision regulations. (File)

The Pelham Planning Commission announced they will begin to review the city’s subdivision regulations. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The Planning Commission announced they are deciding on a date to begin reviewing and editing the Pelham subdivision regulations as Pelham Mayor Gary Waters suggested during a March 20 Planning Commission meeting.

During a May 8 Planning Commission work session, Waters characterized the current laws as “weak, old and antiquated,” adding they were written at a time when Pelham was more interested in enticing building of any kind.

“A lot of things that come up again and again aren’t even addressed in our subdivision laws because they’re outdated,” Waters said.

The Planning Commission has been given the newly revised subdivision laws from various cities to look at as examples, including those from Alabaster, Hoover and Helena. Waters said these laws are written in a more simple and straightforward manner.

“(The laws are) more condensed, less is more,” Waters said. “(They’re) plain talk, it just makes it better for everyone.”

Planning Commission member Kim Speorl agreed, adding she would like to see the laws revised so the “average person off the street can understand them.”

The revised subdivision regulations will strengthen the “vetting process” for new projects, Waters said.

“Now we’re having to change the way we vet these projects,” Waters said, noting the process that went into the April 21 final approval of an apartment complex on Huntley Parkway, which included many revisions of the original proposal and a traffic study.

The Planning Commission will review the subdivision regulations in the same manner the Personnel Board is reviewing the Civil Service Law.

“You’re starting at the beginning and going page by page until you get to the end of it,” Waters said.

Although Waters said there is “no timeline” for this project, the Planning Commission expressed a desire to start soon.