By Erica Thomas, managing editor
TRUSSVILLE — A piece of property on Highway 11, known as the Hamilton property, has been approved for rezoning, after months of debate between city leaders and concerned community members.
In the regular city council meeting on Tuesday, July 23, the rezoning ordinance passed 3:2, after a second reading. The first reading and a public hearing were held at the previous council meeting.
Council members who voted yes to the move were Brian Plant, Zack Steele and Alan Taylor. Council members who voted no to the move were Council President Jef Freeman and Perry Cook.
Just before the vote, Cook said approving rezoning would be a disservice to the city of Trussville. He had a prepared statement about his concerns.
“We need to protect our town of what we want in it,” Cook said. “We don’t need to sit back and let someone bring a list of what they want and that’s what it is.”
Councilman Brian Plant said the council cannot legally tell the property owner what to do with their land.
“We can’t tell someone that they can’t develop their property because that’s their property right,” said Plant.
The property is being zoned C2, which does come with some qualifiers. Those qualifiers are explained on page 57 of the city’s zoning ordinance. You can read the ordinance and see the video of the vote here.
Developer David Stovall said his team is pleased with the vote.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us now to put together this plan that we truly believe will be a positive addition to the city of Trussville,” said Stovall.
Several items were approved as part of the consent agenda, including travel expenses for training and merit increases.
Former Jefferson County District Attorney David Barber was at the meeting on behalf of the Prescott House, a child advocacy center. Barber said he is stepping down as president of the non-profit, after 32 years of service, but said he will continue to be a part of the operations. Barber introduced Prescott House Director Mary Beth Thomas.
“She [Mary Beth Thomas] was our very first counselor that we hired,” Barber said. “I just wanted you to meet the real Prescott House.”
Barber said he is ready to hand over the reins to the next generation.
“I think the time has come for me to step aside and allow some more energetic, more innovative people to take the helm,” Barber said.
Council President Jef Freeman thanked Barber for his time and effort, giving back to the community.
Resident Jim Wolfe spoke at the meeting about concerns on some street signs. Wolfe provided pictures of problem areas he has identified. Council President Jef Freeman said the issue would be brought to the attention of Public Works.
In other business, the council approved four annexation requests.
2724 Floyd Bradford Road was annexed into the city. The property owner, who owns adjacent property within city limits, asked the city to annex the half-acre, in order to have all of his property in Trussville.
Three parcels on Bedford Circle and Will Keith Road were also annexed, along with property at 6495 Service Road. The council previously approved the Service Road annexation, but the property owner did not pay the $1,000 fee. The sell of the property is contingent on the property being annexed into Trussville and the council approved the move for a second time.
The city council approved the purchase of three new vehicles for the police department. It also approved a resolution to allow Charter to provide fiber service for police radios for service between EMA and the city of Trussville.
An agreement was reached on an easement for the Entertainment District. In a unanimous vote, the council passed a resolution that will allow access around Mike and Mike’s, which sits at 229 Main Street.
Another resolution between the state of Alabama and the city of Trussville will allow for a project near the First United Methodist Church. The Alabama Department of Transportation is working with the city on Glenn Road. The road will be extended, allowing for a loop-around to Chalkville Mountain Road. Mayor Buddy Choat said the project is still in the design phase.
Also approved, a resolution for budget adjustments. The city is changing the way it budgets money for each department. Councilman Alan Taylor said after reviewing the new guidelines, he understands nothing will change for departments, except for the way things are classified. The city’s Finance Committee recommended the change after reviewing budgets from years past. Councilman Taylor said he has researched the new method and has found many cities budget with the same method.
The Back to School Bash will be held on Sunday, Aug. 11, from 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. First United Methodist Church is hosting the event to celebrate the start of the new school year. There will be food trucks, inflatables, children’s activities and giveaways.
The second annual Rotary Barbeque Cookoff will be held on Oct. 12, from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., behind the Trussville Civic Center.
The Rotary Club will donate a four-sided clock to be installed on the corner of Highway 11 and Chalkville Road. The clock will go in the old Braden’s corner, which will be known as the Downtown Plaza.
At the end of the council meeting, Mayor Choat gave an update on the Valley Road extension. Choat said the project is behind because of weather, but that it should be completed by Aug. 1.