By Crystal McGough
PINSON — The Pinson City Council held a public hearing Tuesday night, Dec. 1, 2020, to discuss Planning Commission Case Z-2020-06, concerning the pre-annexation and rezoning of property located at 7000 and 6970 Highway 79, across the street from Pinson Valley High School.
The purpose of the rezoning will be to accommodate Paladin Inc. to develop an independent senior living community.
“My dad was a pastor in Gadsden and one of the things he cared about was housing for people; particularly housing for the elderly,” Paladin Inc. CEO Phil Ellen said. “So we have been developing property – or I have – for about 19 years. We have around 40 properties all over the southeast. We currently have four projects under construction at this moment.”
Ellen said that his company would develop and own a two building, 56-unit community. Each building will have elevators and an activity room. There will also be a separate community building to house amenities such as an onsite community center, laundry facility and exercise facility. Paladin Inc. will also be working with a management company to organize bingo nights, birthday parties and social events
“We really have a heart for seniors and for housing for seniors,” Ellen said. “What we’ve found is – and this is not just us, but nationally – that these type housing, independent senior living, keeps people out of nursing homes. It keeps people from going into any other kind of facility because it gives them community, and that’s one of the things that we’re about. We’ve had seniors tell us that these projects have saved their life.”
While the homes will be built at top quality, Ellen said that they will also be built to be affordable, quoting rates at around $500-700 per month. Paladin will continue to own the property and not sell it, and the units will have an age restriction by deed of 55 and up. Ellen said that his average tenant is around age 62.
Additionally, Ellen assured the council that the development will not be federally subsidized or Section 8 housing.
“It’s a great product; we’re really proud of it,” he said. “Generally, we have around a 2-year waiting list for this product.”
Ordinance 2020-21 for the rezoning of 7000 and 6970 Highway 75 passed unanimously.
The city council also passed Ordinance 2020-22, authorizing the annexation of a 12-parcel property that includes the land where the senior living development will be built.
Moving on, the council unanimously approved a motion to enter into a consulting agreement with Greg Morris for $7,500 to develop documentation and begin the process of looking to bring new businesses into the city. Morris said that he was encouraged by the approval of the new senior housing development.
“This is the best time to track down retailers,” he said.
In other city business, the council approved the following:
- Motion to approve Rock School events room rates and usage agreement form
- Resolution 20-60, accepting a debris removal bid from ETS Tree Service
- Motion to authorize wireless upgrades at City Hall in the amount of $3,187.81
- Motion to authorize the mayor to purchase supplies for the janitorial closet for an estimated amount of $500-600
The Pinson Christmas Parade has been rescheduled for Dec. 11, 2020, at 6:30 p.m., due to the PVHS football team going to the state championship. The mayor and council expressed their pride in the football team and support for them in the championship game.
Mayor Joe Cochran said that, additionally, there will be a chili cook-off and Toys for Tots drive on Dec. 12, 2020, at Bicentennial Park. The event will begin around 10 a.m.
The next meeting of the Pinson City Council will be Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, at Pinson City Hall. Pre-council begins at 6:30 p.m. and the regular council meeting begins at 7 p.m.