P&Z approves pre-zoning for new homes off Arrow Drive

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster Planning and Zoning Commission agreed to pre-zone a piece of property in northwestern Alabaster during its Sept. 26 meeting, paving the way for 13 new home lots connected to Arrow Drive.

Commission members voted during the meeting to pre-zone about 65 acres north of Arrow Drive as R-1 residential, meaning the unincorporated Shelby County property would be zoned as such if it is annexed into the city in the future. The pre-zoning decision will now move on to the Alabaster City Council for final consideration.

R-1 residential zoning calls for 20,000-square-foot minimum lots, but developer Jason Spinks said he is planning to construct estate-sized homes on the property with 150-foot-wide, 1-acre lots.

The commission’s decision came about eight months after it voted to deny Spinks’ original plan for the property, which requested R-2 residential pre-zoning and included 76 proposed home lots.

In January, commission members said they decided to deny the pre-zoning request because of concerns over traffic and accessibility.

As originally proposed, the 76 lots would have been accessible by Arrow Drive off First Avenue West and Independence Drive in the Navajo Hills subdivision.

Spinks’ most recent plan calls for a total of 39 new homes on the property split into two separate areas. The first area would be accessible only via Arrow Drive, would include 13 home lots and would end with a cul-de-sac. The second area would include 26 lots, and would be accessible only via Independence Drive.

All homes in the proposed development would be on septic tanks, not the city sewer system.

During a pre-meeting work session on Sept. 26, commission member Tommy Ryals said he had concerns with the northern portion of the proposed development, as it included a stubbed-off road leading to a currently undeveloped property in Helena’s city limits.

After the commission members voiced concerns regarding the northern portion of the proposed development, Spinks and commission members agreed to only tie the pre-zoning decision to the 13 lots off Arrow Drive.

“We’ll see how these 13 lots work out, and then I’ll come back at some point to do the rest of it,” Spinks said.

If Spinks decides in the future to move forward with building the 26 lots in the northern part of the development, he must come back to the commission and City Council to get approval.

Commission members said they received multiple emails from residents near the proposed development expressing concerns over increased traffic and construction noise, while Arrow Drive resident Ernie Green said he and his neighbors would be OK with the addition of the 13 lots.

“I appreciate the fact that the developer has reduced the number of lots,” Green said. “The consensus with the neighbors is that we can live with this as long as the developer lives up to his word.”