Council OKs amendment allowing growth at apartment complex

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – The Montevallo City Council has approved a proposed amendment to the city’s special district zoning to allow for more apartment buildings at an existing complex located near the intersection of Overland Road and Comanche Street.

During a public hearing on Aug. 12, the council reviewed a developer’s request to add three additional apartment buildings and 10 units per building at Shoal Creek Apartments, and then invited citizens to speak for or against the request.

Sharman Brooks with Shelby County Development Services said the partially developed tract of land, about 7.3 acres, currently houses three apartment buildings that were constructed in the 1990s.

“Adding the three additional buildings will provide a gross density of 7.7 dwelling units per acre, which is less than the allowable 8.6 units per acre,” Brooks said. “We’re still below what they could have in the R-2 special district.”

Wade Lowery with Engineering Design Group said the plans meet the density requirements in the city’s current zoning code, which was approved in 2012, and added the reason behind the request to allow 10 units instead of eight in each building is that the two additional units in each building would be single-bedroom units to keep up with tenant demand.

“From the time the original apartments were constructed, the demographics for units have changed,” Lowery said. “The owner has requests for single units all the time. The driving force was requests (made to) the owner for single-unit properties.”

Nearly a dozen citizens spoke in opposition to the development plans, expressing concerns about traffic flow increasing in nearby subdivisions, property values decreasing, oversaturation of apartments in that area, drainage issues and crime rates.

“I understand the concerns in the neighborhood, but we have to look to the law and what’s already permitted,” Mayor Hollie Cost said. “We have to lean back to what our laws are and what our policies are. This is permitted use on this piece of property.”

Cost and Councilmembers Willie Goldsmith, Tiffany Bunt, Jason Peterson and Arthur Herbert voted in favor of the amendment, while Councilman Rusty Nix voted against it.

In other business, the council:

  • Voted in favor of contracting with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham to update Montevallo’s comprehensive plan.
  • Presented a proclamation in celebration of Brownye Gillespy’s 90th birthday.
  • Presented a 2020 Census Complete Count Committee proclamation.
  • Acknowledged garbage service bids received from Republic and Waste Pro, and approved the city clerk’s recommendation to reject all bids.
  • Approved the Sustainability Committee’s recommendation to modify the city’s garbage pick-up schedule by implementing multiple pick-up days.
  • Approved the Sustainability and Finance committees’ recommendation to hire a sustainability coordinator.
  • Approved the Finance Committee’s recommendation to end the curbside recycling service.
  • Approved the Finance Committee’s recommendation to contract with ADP to provide payroll and HR services.
  • Approved a recommendation to contract with IT in a Box to provide IT and website services.
  • Approved a recommendation to contract with Garver to serve as city engineer.
  • Approved a request to declare surplus and authorize the disposition of a library table and fridge.
  • Approved adding Highland Street and College Drive to the MDCD paving list.
  • Nominated Bobby Pierson to represent Montevallo on the County Board of Equalization.
  • Approved appointments to the Zoning Board of Adjustments, Personnel Board, Planning Commission, Water and Sewer Board and Parks and Recreation Board.