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Jemison planners adopt zoning

The Jemison Planning Commission voted Tuesday night to adopt a proposed zoning ordinance and submit it to the city council for approval.

The vote was taken during a public hearing hosted by the planning commission at Jemison High School. The vote was unanimous.

“The idea of zoning is to give these ladies and gentlemen a way to guide the future,” said Steve Ostaseski of the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, pointing to members of the city’s planning commission. “I think we’ve given Jemison a good tool.”

Questions were taken from residents who had concerns about how their property would be affected by the proposed ordinance.

One resident asked if her son could continue using the family’s land as agriculture in the future. Ostaseski said the land’s use could continue until the owner chooses otherwise or the use stops.

Another asked if people living near the town center could be forced to move.

“You could be offered a large sum of money by someone who wants to develop,” Ostaseski replied.

The proposed ordinance introduces several new categories of zoning to the community. For example, residential categories range from rural residential to townhomes or garden homes mixed with commercial property.

“You’ve got a walkable community right now,” Ostaseski said. “There’s no reason to try to change that.”

The next step is for the council to advertise the plan during an upcoming regular meeting. Another public hearing will be held in conjunction with a council meeting. Then, the council must vote to adopt the ordinance.

Maps outlining the proposed changes are available for public viewing at Jemison City Hall.

The city hall may be reached at 688-4491 or 688-4492.