By Chris Yow
TRUSSVILLE — The Trussville City Council voted unanimously at the meeting Tuesday night to rezone a piece of property along U.S. 11 at 6838 and 6850 Gadsden Hwy. that backs up to a number of subdivisions in the area at the request of the property owner.
The property was zoned commercial preferred in the front along the highway, and residential in the back of the property. The property owner asked the council to zone the property Qualified Commercial Preferred with some of the qualifiers being the height of the building, limiting it to two stories, and the buffer allowed between the property and the subdivisions, going from the required 12 feet to 35-40 feet.
Homeowners in the subdivisions opposed the rezoning, despite the concessions made by the property owner, stated they wanted a provision that no restaurant could ever build on the property. Currently, a restaurant could build in the front part of the property with approval from the Board of Zoning Adjustments. Under the new ordinance, that won’t change.
Don McGriff, president of the homeowner’s association in Sherman Oaks subdivision, said he felt most of the homeowners opposed the change because of the idea that a restaurant could potentially be built on the property.
“I find it real interesting that when the city drafted this, there were 16 businesses on that list. Restaurants are not one of them. You have come back for a special exception, so I think they realized that could be some problems,” he said.
Property owner Jo Ann Milam said at the first reading of the ordinance during the last council meeting there were no interested buyers in the property, and no restaurant has contacted her about the property.
“We haven’t sold it,” Milam said. “We don’t even have an interested party. We’ve never had a restaurant talk to us.”
Suzette Gallant, who also lives in Sherman Oaks, said she was concerned about traffic implications of a business being built on the property.
“I fight every morning to get out of my subdivision,” she said. “I love the school, that’s why we’re here.”
Councilman Anthony Montalto added that a traffic study is done before any new business is approved.
Council President Alan Taylor said he wanted to reiterate the council is charged with making tough decisions sometimes, but they have to do what is best for the city.
“Our job is to make sure we do what’s best for the overall property and what’s best for the city,” Taylor said.
The only difference now as it pertains to a restaurant possibly being built is where on the property the building could be built, but it would still have to come before the Board of Zoning Adjustments.
“The only problem I have with that, is only adjoining property owners are notified,” McGriff said.
Councilman Brian Plant said the board would notify the homeowner’s association, and they would be responsible to get the information to their homeowners.
After the vote, many of those in opposition of the ordinance left the meeting.
The council also add e-cigarettes to the prohibited acts in public buildings and public places.
The council voted unanimously to adopt the new ordinance.
According to Trussville City Clerk Lynn Porter, there have been complaints by some citizens at public buildings in the city that people were vaping.
“I think most people just found it annoying in public buildings,” Taylor said of the reason they added the
In addition to adding vaping to the prohibited acts, the council cleaned up some language in the ordinance, including the definition of public buildings and public places.
The city defines e-cigarettes as any electronic oral device, such as one composed of a heating element, battery, and/or electronic circuit, which provides a vapor of nicotine or any substance, and the use or inhalation or exhalation of which simulates smoking. The term shall include any such device, whether manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, or under any other product name or description.
Nothing in the ordinance changed as it pertains to where smoking and vaping would be allowed.