Alabaster reconsidering zoning for new homes off Butler Road

Published 2:07 pm Tuesday, September 11, 2018

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster City Council will again hold a public hearing in mid-October on rezoning a little more than 20 acres near the intersection of Butler Road and Mission Hills Road to allow for a proposed 132-home development, council members announced during a Sept. 10 meeting.

The council originally was set to vote on the rezoning during its Aug. 27 meeting, but the matter failed due to the lack of a second after several Alabaster residents expressed concerns about residential development along traffic-choked Alabama 119. During the Sept. 10 meeting, council members voted unanimously to reconsider the rezoning and set it for a public hearing – and likely vote – on Oct. 15.

In June, the Alabaster Planning and Zoning Commission voted to recommend the council rezone about 20.5 acres from a combination of R-7 townhouse district and B-3 community business district to R-4 patio and garden home district.

The Oct. 15 meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Alabaster City Hall, and the council will consider rezoning the land with a stipulation no more than 135 homes be built on the property in the future.

The rezoning came at the request of Raush Coleman Builders and Alamerica Bank, which currently owns the property and has plans to sell it to the developer, according to information submitted to the city.

If the rezoning is approved by the council, it will allow for a new 132-home development connected to the Grande View Gardens neighborhood. No development would be able to move forward on the land while the city’s yearlong residential building moratorium, which went into effect on Aug. 27, is still in place along the Alabama 119 corridor.

Council members said rezoning the land could be beneficial to the city in the long run, as the property’s current zoning allows for higher-density development than would be allowed under the R-4 zoning.

Under the current zoning, a developer would be able to build 55 single-family homes, 104 townhomes and about 40,000 square feet of commercial space. The 132 proposed garden homes under the R-4 zoning will be similar to the existing homes in the Grande View Gardens subdivision, according to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

“We’ve got a developer who is willing to upzone and agree to that (135-home) cap,” said Ward 5 Councilman Russell Bedsole. “I think that is a great spirit of cooperation. In the long run, this is better for our city.”

The original plan for the area called for a commercial development at the intersection of Butler Road and Mission Hills Road, but the developers said there is not enough traffic in the area to support businesses in the area, and the county expressed concerns about traffic accessing a business development at the intersection.