Map provided by city of Hoover
I-459 apartment rezoning
The city of Hoover is seeking to rezone about 273 acres along Interstate 459 to keep it from being developed into apartments.
The city of Hoover is proposing to rezone about 273 acres along Interstate 459 near the Patton Creek shopping center from apartment use to commercial and single-family residential use.
Such a change, if approved, would block U.S. Steel from developing about 139 acres it has been trying to get subdivided to accommodate 820 apartments on the stretch of land along the interstate between Preserve Parkway and Chapel Lane.
It’s an unusual and perhaps unprecedented move for the city to try to rezone property without the property owner’s approval or consent, Hoover Councilman Gene Smith said. But he thinks there is merit in the attempt, he said.
Residents have been vocal in opposition to the idea of more than 800 apartments being built in Hoover out of concern for the impact it would have on schools and traffic, Smith said.
The Hoover City Council tonight called for a public hearing to be held before the Hoover Planning and Zoning Commission on Feb. 8 to rezone the property.
U.S. Steel owns at least 139 of the acres. Other property owners include Ina Ballenger, the Meade Whitaker Sr. Living Trust, and William Paul Glass and Sherry Barrington, city records show.
Jessica Franklin, a spokeswoman for U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh, said tonight the company would not be commenting on the matter.
Hoover Council President Jack Wright said tonight the land has sat undeveloped for more than 30 years and rezoning most of it for commercial use and a small portion of it that backs up to the Paradise Acres community for single-family residential use is in the best interests of the city.
With the sale prices of land in the Patton Creek shopping center, rezoning the adjacent interstate-frontage land for commercial use should be “a win for everybody,” Wright said.
U.S. Steel has been trying to subdivide 139 acres of the property into three lots and get approval for an access road for the apartments, labeled Hidden Valley Apartments, since August. However, the Hoover Planning and Zoning Commission twice denied U.S. Steel’s request, citing an incomplete application – first in October and a second time in December.
Smith, whose family has been in Hoover since its inception and who previously served on the zoning board, said he’s never seen the city try to rezone someone’s property against their wishes. “It’s something that I don’t think has ever been accomplished in the history of the city,” he said. “I would guess if the property owner doesn’t like it, they’ll probably come forward with a court order of some kind.”
The Feb. 8 meeting of the Hoover Planning and Zoning Commission is scheduled to take place at the Hoover Municipal Center. The commission usually has a 5 p.m. work session, followed by a 5:30 p.m. action meeting. Both meetings are open to the public.