Rezoning hearing for multifamily complex near Trussville set for Feb. 14
By Gary Lloyd
A public hearing before the Jefferson County Commission regarding a possible apartment complex locating in the Trussville area has been scheduled for 9 a.m. on Feb. 14.
The public hearing will be in the commission’s chambers at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham.
A 56-unit multifamily property for residents ages 55 and older is proposed for the area near Midway Baptist Church on Midway Church Road in Trussville. The property, at 5841 Chalkville Road, is located in unincorporated Jefferson County, though the land would touch Trussville city limits.
The commission will be voting on whether to rezone the property from agricultural to institutional. If voted yes, then plans for the complex can move forward. Herman & Kittle Properties, Inc. is the company planning for the complex to locate in the area. Development Director Andrew Murray said should the commission vote yes, then the next steps for the company would be to begin obtaining financing commitments for the project.
Should the commission deny the rezoning request, then the property will remain agricultural. Murray said Herman & Kittle would then take some time to re-evaluate the process before determining its next steps.
The Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Commission has already voted against rezoning the property from agricultural to regular apartment status, said Trussville Mayor Gene Melton. The city’s concern with regular apartment status was that the complex would eventually allow residents younger than 55.
Melton said the Trussville City Council will direct him on whether or not to attend the hearing to oppose the potential rezoning. Murray is expected to speak to the council at its workshop Feb. 7 at 5:30 p.m. at Trussville City Hall to answer any questions the council members may have.
Melton said rezoning only determines what the land will be used for. The proposed area for the site would probably require a cul-de-sac or an additional street so that emergency vehicles and fire trucks would have space to turn around, Melton said.
“It’s a fire safety issue,” Melton said.
That issue would only be addressed if the commission approves the rezoning.
Murray said the new community would be called Longleaf Bluff and that he sees an absolute need for it in the area. There is a significant population of people age 55 and older in the area, he said.
“Those age 55 and older often want to downsize from their house, decrease their maintenance time and effort, while still being able to live independently,” Murray said. “Longleaf Bluff will be the only option in the area that specifically provides an independent living option exclusively for residents 55 and older.”
Murray said the multifamily complexes that Herman & Kittle Properties has developed have been successful. The company looks for two things — an existing population of people that would benefit from this type of housing and existing neighborhood amenities that enhance the quality of living for the residents of the area.
The development, Murray said, would not be a Section 8 housing development. Those developments aid lower-income families in obtaining a decent place to live.
Murray said according to the most recent Census data, about 25 percent of the population within close proximity to the potential site is 55 or older. Another 14 percent is age 45-54.
“The area provides quick and easy access to a number of community amenities that are desired — such as retail, grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, banks and medical facilities — all within a mile of the site,” Murray said.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.