Jemison to unveil proposed zoning code next month

Published 10:06 pm Monday, July 6, 2009

Jemison is in the final stages of introducing a new zoning code that city leaders hope will preserve the city’s character while making way for future growth.

Steve Ostaseski of the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham presented the proposed plan to the city council Monday night. The group worked with the city’s planning commission to develop the new code.

Before the council can approve the code, they must first allow the public to have some input.

“If the reason people are moving here is because of the open space, and we take the open space away, people are going to begin to wonder, ‘Why did we move here?’” Ostaseski said to the council.

Currently, the city is mostly agricultural. The current zoning code also includes two categories for commercial property, two for industrial, three for residential, and one for offices.

The new code addresses land usage in more specific ways by introducing more categories of agricultural and other types of zoning. It also addresses anticipated growth along Interstate 65 and in areas east of town.

While the code does allow for inevitable growth, it is intended to preserve the city’s characteristics.

“It’s about keeping Jemison as Jemison,” Ostaseski said. “It was an excellent time with this downturn in the economy to take advantage of this.”

The planning commission will present the proposed code to the public sometime in August of this year.

In other business, the council:

Went into executive session to discuss security plans, procedures and assessments; and the consideration of purchase, sale or exchange of real property.

Authorized Jackson & Jackson, LLC, as the city attorney, to request an opinion from the attorney general concerning House Bill 175, sponsored by State Rep. Jimmy Martin, pertaining to alcohol sales and the authorization of municipal option elections in municipalities.

Voted to accept a proposal from Chilton Contractors to perform upgrades on County Road 138 in the Oak Grove community for the installation of water lines, pending agreement on a timeframe.