Jasper City Council

Council approves rezoning request for new subdivision

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A request to rezone property along 20th Avenue East in Jasper was met with opposition from several residents living in the area, but Jasper City Council members still voted 3-0 Tuesday morning to approve the request. 

The request to rezone the property from AG (agricultural) to R-4 (urban dwelling) was made to allow for the development of a subdivision that could include more than 100 single family and patio homes. 

The rezoning request had previously been approved by the Jasper Zoning Commission. 

Residents living along 20th Avenue East say they oppose the construction of the homes because it would increase traffic in the area and lower property values. 

“Nobody is really happy about this,” said Danny Taylor, “mainly because nobody knows anything about it. All we know is they are wanting to put between 120 and 160 houses on 60 acres. That’s going to be a lot of houses really close together.”

Taylor said he understands there’s a need for additional housing in the city, but said “that’s a lot of residences in that small an area.”

Project developer Chuck Norris likened the development along 20th Avenue East to the Blackwell Meadows subdivision off Blackwell Dairy Road. 

“The homes that fall into this category are basically the same as what’s been built in Blackwell Meadows,” said Norris, who helped develop Blackwell Meadows. “And I think we’ve been a good neighbor to everyone out that way so far. It’s nice homes in a nice community, and what we’re planning to do is very similar to what we did in Blackwell Meadows. I would think people who are welcome to change and growth would be open to this new subdivision.”

Council president Danny Gambrell said Blackwell Meadows includes “really nice homes.”

“There’s no question that Blackwell Meadows is a nice subdivision,” added council member Gary Cowen. “I think it has increased property values around there.”

Council member Jed Daniel, whose District 1 includes 20th Avenue East, was not at Tuesday’s council meeting. Neither was council member Jennifer William Smith. 

In other business, council members:

•approved travel for Smith to attend a League of Municipalities Advocacy Day in Montgomery Feb. 9.

•introduced an amendment to the city’s budget pertaining to a magistrate’s position.

•heard a report from city purchasing agent Derleda Abrom on financing for a new garbage truck and new fire truck. 

Both will be financed through Pinnacle Bank. 

•approved Abrom’s request to send out bids for garbage cans.

•adopted a resolution to declare 10 gray kennel panels as surplus property.

•adopted a resolution to allow Mayor David O’Mary to enter into an agreement with Gillespie Construction for work related to flooding at Jasper High School’s athletic facilities on Viking Drive. 

The city will be fully reimbursed from the Jasper City Board of Education for the work, which is expected to cost about $50,000.

•adopted a resolution to set costs for a property that previously fell under the city’s nuisance abatement ordinance.

•adopted a resolution to allow O’Mary to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with property owners to remove unsafe structures.