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Trussville Council hears property rezone request for church near Entertainment District

By Tanna Friday

TRUSSVILLE – The Trussville City Council met on Tuesday evening during a workshop and regular council meeting. There were a couple of items on the agenda needing the Council’s attention including a property off Watterson Parkway that will house a new church building for Christ Church in Trussville.

Members of the church were present for a request to rezone a portion of 14 Watterson Parkway from Commercial (C-2) to Institutional (Inst-1), including the pastor, James Dickson, who presented an early rendering of their future church site plan.

“I am pastor at Christ Church,” said Dickson. “We moved to Trussville seven years ago to plant this church with the help of several PCA churches in Birmingham. For the past six years we have been worshiping at the Trussville YMCA with an office on S. Chalkville. It has been our desire, from the beginning, to be a part of this community. We have sought to be involved in the schools, ballparks, and other ministries in this area. It was important for us to continue to be a part of the vision of being a part of this community as we continue to grow. The property on Watterson fit all those desires. We are request the rezoning of roughly six acres of this property.”

Council President Alan Taylor raised the question to the Council if the church land is within the proper distance (750 feet) from the Entertainment District.

According to Trussville City Ordinance (Ord. No. 95-28 ADM, § I, 6-13-95) Sec. 6-41.4 entitled “Action by city council”, “No license shall be approved by the city council when the distance between the premises to be licensed and a school, church or library is less than 750 feet.”

“Is the question being if it violates the city’s ordinance or if being near open carry of the city’s Entertainment Districts bothers us?” asked Dickson.

Councilor Brian Plant answered saying that it was the limits itself.

“We have to look at the ordinance to see if that would place us in violation or if it prohibits another property owner from developing a property for commercial purposes,” said Plant.

Taylor explained further of the potential limitations on how the ordinance could impact the area.

“There are two issues,” said Taylor. “One issue is what we know is going to happen and that is the Entertainment District. Does is encroach on that? The second issue is that property adjacent to that will limit what can go in. There could not be a restaurant there that served alcohol because it comes into that radius.”

City Clerk, Lynn Porter, read the city’s ordinance aloud and said there were certain built-in exceptions including if a property is divided by a four-lane or greater highway, railroad, and if the property is a grocery store that sells for off-premise consumption. (Ord. No. 95-28 ADM, § I, 6-13-95)

Mayor Buddy Choat said that according to the radius, that the church property did not impede in any of the city’s Quad One development.

“None of the development plans will be touched,” said Choat. “I am looking at Marvins, location for the special event, and it is outside of this line. What it may affect are some buildings off S. Chalkville Road and Watterson Parkway, but they are not currently restaurants.”

The Mayor said that the same property owner owns all the other surrounding land who is interested in more of a professional development.

In other matters, the Council approved:

  • Consent agenda
    • CCI Construction Administration contract for oversight of Valley Road extension for approximately 10 months at $86,500.00;
    • Approve Alabama Power estimate for utility relocation for Valley Road extension for $30,000;
    • Appoint Ryan Dawkins to Planning and Zoning through June 11, 2024;
    • Approve the closing of Hewitt Street from Chalkville Road to Rockridge Avenue on July 11, from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. for First Baptist Church family night on the Magnolia Mall;
    • Closing of Morrow Avenue from Main Street to the end of Morrow, including the alley behind Keller Williams on July 14 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for Downtown Merchant Association block party;
    • Merit increases for police, fire, public works, and the library;
    • Hiring of Andrew Kyle Eastman of Public Works;
    • Accounts payable; and
    • Reimbursement travel expense.
  • Authorization for the Mayor to seek counsel for review of revoking a lease due to several violations;
  • Ordinance 2018-017 PZ for the rezoning of 114 Watterson Parkway from C-2 to Inst.-1;
  • Resolution 2019-18 to award bid to Mike and Company for the Valley Road extension project; and
  • Ordinance 2018-016 PZ to rezone 6530 Husky Parkway from Inst.-1 to CP (commercial preferred).
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