Clanton board considers rezoning requests 

Published 3:12 pm Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer 

The Clanton Planning Commission considered two rezoning requests during a meeting on Nov. 12.  

A request from First United Methodist Church of Clanton to rezone two lots on Eighth Street (north of the youth building) from residential (R-2) to business (B-1) was approved unanimously. 

David McCary at FUMC said the plan is to pave part of the property for a parking lot. However, the property may also be used for future construction.  

Any plans for this would have to come back to the planning commission for approval. 

Mayor Billy Joe Driver expressed concerns about sight distance for drivers if the area was B-1 because this allows structures to be build right up to the property line. He said these would need to be addressed if a structure was proposed for the site.  

The rezoning will go to the Clanton City Council for final approval before it can take effect. 

A rezoning request for 108 acres near Lakeview Heights from residential (R-1) to agriculture (AG) made by Dr. Jon Binkerd was tabled to be researched and discussed at the next meeting. 

Building inspector Gene Martin, who serves as chairman for the planning commission, said he wanted to review the regional growth plan before a final vote was taken.  

Martin also said two members were absent that should be a part of the discussion.  

Property that Binkerd owns that was platted as a part of the subdivision is not included in the rezoning request.  

Binkerd said he wants to build a $750,000 house and have a working farm with horses, cattle and emus. A plan for the house was submitted immediately before the meeting and was not discussed in detail.   

A 100-foot setback would be required between adjoining residential property owners, if the rezoning is later approved, Martin said.  

Although the planning commission members agreed that Binkerd would have a nice place on the property, several concerns were discussed. 

Planning commissioner Bob Woods expressed concern at reducing residential land with the city’s anticipated growth. 

“Progress is coming to the area, and hopefully, we are going to see a lot of rooftops,” Woods said. “A concern I have is that you have property that is already zoned residential, realizing the doctor currently owns this property but rezoning is another issue all together.” 

He said the property is connected to residential property. 

Planning Commissioner Sammy Wilson also expressed concern about what would happen if the land was sold after it was rezoned agricultural. 

“I bought this property with the intention of keeping it and giving it to my children,” Binkerd said.   

Several acres of the property is in a floodplain, which makes building a structure difficult or prohibited, depending on what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines. 

Even in the current zoning, Binkerd could legally have one four-legged animal per area on his land because it is larger than five acres and have a “hobby farm,” Martin said.  

However, Binkerd said he did not think this would allow him to do what he had in mind and develop the farm into a limited liability company.