Jemison Council discusses rezoning

Published 10:34 am Tuesday, June 7, 2022

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By JOYANNA LOVE |Managing Editor

The Jemison City Council heard information and answered questions about a rezoning request to change 16641 County Road 29 to Light Industrial during its meeting on June 6.

A public hearing was held on the rezoning, but a vote will not be made until June 20.

Doug Bice has requested the rezoning from Single Family Residential to Light Industrial in order to lease the property to Ben E. Keith Trucking for tractor trailer parking.

Although the vehicles would be parked overnight, no one would be staying in them.

Steven Bice, speaking on behalf of Doug Bice, told the council that the 18 wheelers would be the smaller ones used for food service deliveries, and the weight would not exceed 40,000 pounds, even with a double load.

“They are going between Birmingham and Montgomery and this is kind of a midpoint, so they approached us about it,” Steven Bice said. “If this goes through, we are planning on fencing the whole property in, and it will be a gated property to park the trucks.”

Ben E. Keith Trucking plans to eventually build an office with a bathroom on the site, if the rezoning is approved. This would give the drivers a place to change clothes and get their route sheets each day.

Impact on surrounding property values and if taxes would increase were some audience member concerns. City leaders said the development of the land would increase the value of the property and potentially those around it. This could mean paying more in ad valorem property taxes because of the higher assessed value.

A maximum of eight trucks would fit on the three-acre site. This is the only property Bice owns in the area, so there are zero plans for expanding the lot if it gets developed.

Jemison planning official John Dennis said some property in the area is already zoned light industrial.

He explained that many of the drivers were local, so their personal vehicles would be parked there during the day.

Having a place for the trucks to park will also help solve another issue.

“Unbeknownst to us that this was going on, we have had some trouble at the park and ride,” Dennis said. “This trucking company was parking trucks out there, and today we had to land a helicopter in the field beside there because we couldn’t land in the parking lot because of trucks.”

Also during the meeting, the council:

  • Approved the revised annual financial report.
  • Amended the budget to add $14,640 to the firemen salary expense line, add $1,120 to the firemen FICA expense line and add $1,903 to the firemen retirement expense line item.