Planning Commission OKs rezoning request for gas station development

PELHAM – The Shelby County Planning Commission has approved a developer’s request to rezone property located south of the intersection of Shelby County 52 and Shelby County 93, near the cities of Helena and Hoover, for the proposed construction of a gas station.

The request, made by Royal Investment Group on behalf of property owner Westwinds Holdings LLC, to rezone roughly 17 acres of land from O-I (2), Office and Institutional District (2), to B-1, Neighborhood Business District, to allow for the development of a gas station and convenience store on a portion of the property passed in a 3-1 vote at the Planning Commission’s Sept. 21 meeting.

The gas station will be built on about 4 acres with the remainder of the property reserved for future development, according to the request.

Kristine Goddard, principal planner with Shelby County, said the property has road access and frontage on both Shelby County 93 and Shelby County 52, and the surrounding property includes a church, McDivot’s Golf Range, Cherokee Campground and residential areas in Helena and Hoover.

“The property is currently wooded with areas of right-of-way being cleared for a current intersection improvement and widening,” Goddard said, noting the intersection of Shelby County 52 and Shelby County 93 is under construction, and the applicant had preliminary discussions regarding access with the county highway department, which indicated access would not be considered until this road improvement project was complete.

An undeveloped 1.29-acre tract of land located at the 93-52 intersection within unincorporated Shelby County is zoned O-I (2) and was not part of the rezoning request.

The Shelby County Comprehensive Plan describes the area around the property as “primarily residential with small commercial parcels that serve the surrounding neighborhoods incorporated into areas of transition.”

The B-1 zoning classification means the property can be used for a retail store and service station, as proposed by the developer, or any other permitted uses for the Neighborhood Business District zoning pending site plan review and approval.

Prior to the Planning Commission’s meeting, Goddard said the staff received and provided to commissioners written comments related to the rezoning request, including a petition that circulated on Change.org and received about 200 individual signatures.

Citizens’ concerns related to increased traffic in the already congested area, roadway safety, not needing another gas station in the area, potential environmental issues from construction, and the addition of alcohol and tobacco sales at a location on the busy thoroughfare.

In other business, the Planning Commission:

  • Voted to deny an applicant’s request to remove from the table an item regarding Arlington U.S. 280 rezoning from B-2 to R-5. The request from David G. Ellis, Arlington Properties Inc., on behalf of property owner Walmart Realty, was for the approval of a change in the zone district boundaries from B-2, General Business District, to R-5, Multiple Dwelling District, for about 13.62 acres for development of a 198-unit apartment complex at 5352 U.S. 280 in the North Shelby-I-65 zoning beat.
  • Approved a request from property owners Adam and Jessica Keeton for the approval of a change in the zone district boundaries from E-1, Single Family Estate, to E-2, Single Family Estate, for about .64 acres for an addition on the east side of the existing residence and a garage to the west side.
  • Approved a request regarding Silver Oaks rural subdivision from property owner Randy Goggans, AR Properties LLC, for the approval of a final plat to subdivide 20.14 acres from 82.04 acres into two rural lots for single-family homes on unzoned property located on Shelby County 26 near the intersection of Shelby County 26 and Alabama 70 in the Columbiana zoning beat.
  • Approved a request from Brooks Harris, Harris Doyle Homes (property owner), for the approval of a preliminary plat to subdivide 9.45 acres into 28 residential lots to be known as The Village at Highland Lakes Phase 4, 6th Sector. The property is zoned SD, Special District, and is located at the end of English Village Lane in the Village at Highland Lakes development.