by Scott Buttram, publisher
TRUSSVILLE — For the most part, city council meetings are rather mundane. Members usually take care of general housekeeping, pay bills, hear the latest recommendations from Richard Epstein and adjourn early enough to have a late dinner with the family.
There won’t be anything mundane about the Trussville City Council meeting tonight, Tuesday, June 14. With 238 proposed high density housing units awaiting a decision, tonight’s vote could be pivotal in setting the course for Trussville’s future. That’s not an overstatement.
With inflation at a 40-year high, a likely recession looming, mortgage rates rising and a red hot housing market beginning to cool off, the City Council has much to consider and reading the tea leaves can be challenging.
On the agenda tonight are 178 high density townhomes, cottages and brownstones at the proposed Glendale Farms Preserve, formally known as Glendale Farms at Carrington.
The name change is evidently part of the compromise offered by the developer. Additional changes include swapping some high density townhomes for high density cottages or ‘cluster homes’ and moving fewer than 60 single family homes to phase one of the development.
Residents’ concerns all along have centered on the sheer volume of high density housing and the impact on stressed roads and crowded schools. If there is anything in the compromise that allays those fears, we’ll have to wait until tonight to hear the details. The number of high density housing units hasn’t changed since the work session in which developers addressed the council.
The developers have been working to sway individual city council members and must be pretty confident that they’ve pursuaded a majority to support the plan because if it fails, the proposal can’t be brought back for a year.
Also to be considered by the City Council is a newly proposed development on Hushy Pakway that would consist of 60 townhomes. Maybe it’s a coincidence that this project comes hot on the heels of Glendale Farms Preserve or maybe it’s a trend.
Whether the City Council approves the 238 high density units on tonight’s agenda or not, more townhomes are likely coming. Multiple sources indicate a large portion of the yet undeveloped portion of Trussville Springs is already zoned for townhomes.
Most Trussville residents don’t seem to have much interest in any high density housing development. It’s fair to say that feeling is elevated among Carrington residents. While it isn’t unusual for city council decisions to receive an emotional reaction, it is pretty unusual when the strongest opposition comes from a neighborhood that could single-handedly elect their own slate of candidates to every city council seat and the mayor’s office if they choose to do so.
Thus is the life of a city council member. Sometimes it’s kissing babies and riding in parades. And sometimes the direction of an entire city is in your hands.