Council delays zoning amendment decision related to Bluegrass Apartments

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO ­– The Montevallo City Council on Oct. 14 considered but did not take action on a request to approve a zoning amendment to allow for the construction of a multi-family apartment complex on property near the intersection of Overland Road and Shoshone Drive.

During a public hearing, the council reviewed the request from Paul Widman on behalf of property owner Brenda Zigarelli for the approval of an amendment to the R2 Special District to allow for a 46-unit, multi-family development, Bluegrass Apartments, on the property.

Shelby County Principal Planner Josh Cameron said the developer’s request calls for three buildings with 16 units each, instead of six buildings with eight units each, to reduce the number of buildings and save green space.

Cameron said three 16-unit buildings would bring the development “very close to maximum capacity” for the special district zoning.

Widman, an affordable housing developer, said the apartments would be available to tenants with an income of about $40,000 or less per year, adding the apartments would help to meet a need in Montevallo’s low-income housing market.

Widman said a 1.4-acre rectangle of land on the south end of the site would be left undisturbed to create a buffer between the apartment buildings and adjacent homeowners’ backyards.

Increased traffic, storm water runoff and decreased property value in adjacent neighborhoods were among the concerns multiple residents spoke about in the hearing.

The Montevallo Planning Commission at its Sept. 12 meeting approved the developer’s request and recommended it to the City Council based on the approval of a site plan and results of a traffic study.

“What’s before the council tonight is to allow specific use of this property,” Cameron said, noting the planning commission requested a traffic study be done at the site plan stage, which would follow approval from the council. “Tonight, it is just the use of the property (for) apartments and the more than eight units per building in the R2 Special District.”

Widman said he has ordered the traffic study with a deadline of Nov. 1.

Several residents urged the council to take more time to consider the potential impact of the complex before voting on it.

During the regular meeting Oct. 14, no motion was made for the council to suspend the rules and vote on the request.

The City Council will consider the request at its first regular meeting in November, which has been rescheduled from Monday, Nov. 11, to Tuesday, Nov. 12, because of the Veterans Day holiday.