Alabaster approves second Saddle Lake annexation petition

The Alabaster City Council voted to send a second petition to the Shelby County probate judge during a June 9 meeting. (File)

The Alabaster City Council voted to send a second petition to the Shelby County probate judge during a June 9 meeting. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Some Saddle Lake Farms residents are taking a second shot at attempting to annex into Alabaster after Shelby County Probate Judge Jim Fuhrmeister ruled the original annexation petition did not contain enough signatures.

During its June 9 meeting, the Alabaster City Council voted unanimously to accept the second petition and send it to Fuhrmeister for review. City Attorney Jeff Brumlow said he was planning to deliver the petition to Fuhrmeister’s office in Columbiana the morning of June 10.

“We’ve gone through this petition and marked through it, and the signatures represent about 82 percent of the lot owners, which is well above the 60 percent that is required,” Brumlow said during a pre-meeting work session.

Brumlow said if the Probate Court approves the second petition, Fuhrmeister likely will set an election in mid-to-late July to allow Saddle Lake residents to decide if they will annex into the city.

“There is time to squeeze it in before the school year starts. It’s going to be very close,” Brumlow said of the annexation if it is approved in the election.

If the neighborhood’s residents vote to annex into the city, the neighborhood will no longer be in unincorporated Shelby County, and will be zoned for the Alabaster City School System.

If Saddle Lake is not in Alabaster city limits for the upcoming school year, some students in the neighborhood would be rezoned for Columbiana schools as a result of separation negotiations between the Alabaster and Shelby County school systems.

The annexation issue has sparked debate among Saddle Lake residents over the past several months, as some said they want to annex into Alabaster to be a part of the Alabaster City School System and others said they do not want to annex for financial and taxation reasons.