Alabaster, RPC funding development plan for 119

Alabaster is partnering with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham to lay out a development plan for Alabama 119. (File)

Alabaster is partnering with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham to lay out a development plan for Alabama 119. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Alabaster is partnering with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham to develop a plan laying out the future types of development along one of the city’s main corridors.

During a recent meeting, the City Council voted unanimously to partner with the RPC to secure a federal grant to fund the creation of an overlay district along Alabama 119 from its intersection with U.S. 31 to Veterans Park.

Through the agreement, Alabaster will provide a 20 percent match for the federal grant, which will be about $8,000.

The city is using the grant to enter into a professional services agreement with the Regional Planning Commission, which will study the corridor and create the overlay district plan.

An overlay district lays out certain zoning and subdivision guidelines in a particular area in an effort to control the type of growth and development in the area.

Alabaster City Manager George Henry said the city has already begun working with the Regional Planning Commission on the project, and said the plan likely will be completed in four to six months.

If the overlay district is enacted on Alabama 119, it will be the second such district approved in the city after the Main Street Medical Mile along U.S. 31, which was enacted in mid-April.

Over the past few years, city government and economic development officials have expressed interest in spurring development along the heavily traveled Alabama 119 corridor, which serves as a gateway to many of the city’s schools and neighborhoods.

The city has tagged areas along the east side of Alabama 119 near its intersection with Thompson Road as potential locations for retail development.

Alabaster also is working with the Alabama Department of Transportation to widen Alabama 119 from its intersection with Fulton Springs Road to Veterans Park. The city is preparing to begin the right-of-way acquisition phase of the widening project this year.