City continues decision on pre-zoning for new neighborhood

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster Planning and Zoning Commission will decide in late January if it will pre-zone about 65 acres to allow for a new neighborhood in northwestern Alabaster after the commission continued the matter during its Dec. 20 meeting.

Commission members originally were set to vote on the pre-zoning on Dec. 20, but continued the vote until Tuesday, Jan. 24, citing a scheduling conflict with the developer for the property. The Jan. 24 meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Alabaster City Hall.

The commission originally discussed the pre-zoning in late October, and tabled the matter to allow the developer, Jason Spinks, to present a conditional overlay plan for the proposed neighborhood. The conditional overlay, if approved by the city, would lay out appearance guidelines for the development.

As originally proposed, the new neighborhood called for about 99 home lots in a currently vacant tract of land west of the Navajo Hills neighborhood and north of Arrow Drive in Alabaster. However, Planning and Zoning Commission member Mike Allen said Spinks’ latest plan calls for about 76 homes.

The land for the proposed neighborhood currently is in unincorporated Shelby County, but Spinks has submitted a request to annex into Alabaster. If the pre-zoning is approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission and then the City Council, the property will already be zoned as residential when it is annexed into the city.

The commission originally was set to hold a public hearing on the pre-zoning during its Dec. 20 meeting, and several people who live near the proposed neighborhood showed up to voice their opinions on the matter. After hearing the vote had been continued until January, most of the residents left City Hall.

During a previous commission public hearing on the matter in October, several residents said they opposed the development moving forward, citing concerns about increased traffic and environmental impact on the area.

Spinks said he has conducted flood and topographical studies on the land, and said he is looking to preserve as much of the landscape as possible.