Alabaster tables rezoning on new Grande View development

Published 12:24 pm Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A developer is looking to bring “The Ledges at Grande View” to a currently vacant lot near the intersection of Butler Road and Shelby County 17. (Contributed)

A developer is looking to bring “The Ledges at Grande View” to a currently vacant lot near the intersection of Butler Road and Shelby County 17. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Citing a desire to gather more information on the subject before voting on a rezoning request for a proposed new development in the Grande View neighborhood, the Alabaster Planning and Zoning Commission voted on Aug. 30 to table the matter until Sept. 27.

Developer Cameron Givianpour is looking to build “The Ledges at Grande View” subdivision in a currently vacant 140-acre lot west of the current Grande View subdivision off Butler Road.

When the neighborhood was developed in the 1990s, the vacant land originally was zoned for townhomes, but was later rezoned R-2 residential, which requires a larger lot size.

Givianpour is looking to have the 140 acres rezoned as a planned development district, which would tie the overall development plan to the property, and would require city consent to change it.

As proposed, The Ledges at Grande View would contain 296 lots, of which 13 would be 90-foot lots, 83 would be 80-foot lots and 200 would be 60-foot lots. The development would connect to the current Grande View neighborhood, and would also include a walking trail, a detention pond and a new neighborhood entrance on Butler Road. The existing Grande View neighborhood only has one entrance.

“That second entrance is long overdue,” Givianpour said during the meeting. “Not one house or lot or utility line will go in until that (second entrance) is addressed.”

Givianpour said he previously worked with the Shelby County Highway Department to conduct a traffic impact study for the proposed subdivision, and said the study indicated Butler Road could handle the increased traffic. The study was conducted during the summer, and Givianpour said it included a multiplier to account for school traffic.

During a work session before the meeting, Planning and Zoning Commission members said they had some concerns they would like to address with the developer before voting on the rezoning.

While commission members said planned development district concept “is acceptable,” they said they would like the plan to include a section requiring the city to consent to any amendments to the neighborhood’s restrictive covenants, wording stating the development plan will comply with subdivision regulations and wording clarifying subdivision regulations will prevail should conflicts arise in the future.

Restrictive covenants are enforced by homeowners’ associations.

“The city can’t enforce covenants, and we aren’t asking to,” said Alabaster City Attorney Jeff Brumlow. “We just want an agreement that says whatever the restrictive covenants are, we don’t want them to change without the city’s consent.”

Commission members also said they would like a breakdown of house sizes for each lot size in the proposed development before voting on the rezoning.

The commission’s decision to table the rezoning vote came after an hour-and-15-minute public hearing during the meeting, which was attended by about 75 Grande View residents.

The five residents who addressed the commission during the hearing expressed concerns over increased traffic in the area and possible lowered property values if the development moves forward, and said the area’s roads should be upgraded to handle current and future traffic loads.

“Each house will have two cars, so we are going to have 600 more cars pouring onto Butler Road every morning. It’s going to be extremely difficult for Butler Road to sustain that volume of traffic. We are going to create a bottleneck that is going to be hard to deal with.”

Commission member Tommy Ryals said the commission likely will be ready to vote on the rezoning during the September meeting. If the commission OKs the rezoning, it will move to the Alabaster City Council for final approval.

“They have a right to develop their property, but we want it to be conducive to what’s there already,” Ryals said. “I feel like we need to get some more details ironed out before we get to that point.”