Photo by Madison Miller.
Hoover City Council
Hoover City Council members John Lyda and Brian Skelton speak at the meeting.
The future of a potential retail development that could bring a Walmart Neighborhood Market near the Trace Crossings community hinges on a Hoover City Council meeting taking place next week.
The Hoover City Council is set to hold a public hearing on April 6 in which a vote could take place on a proposed plan to rezone 26 acres off South Shades Crest Road, land where a developer wants to build a shopping center. USS Real Estate, which owns the land under contract, hasn’t revealed the unnamed developer’s plans, but Hoover City Executive Allen Pate has said there are strong “rumors that a potential Walmart Neighborhood Market grocery store will be built on the site, but I can’t confirm that.”
The request by landowner USS Real Estate to rezone the property from industrial to commercial was approved on March 9 in a 7-0 vote by the Hoover Planning and Zoning Commission for consideration by the City Council. The public hearing will be on the April 6 agenda during the 6 p.m. meeting in council chambers in City Hall, said Hoover City Councilman John Lyda, who serves on the city planning and zoning commission.
“The proposal will be presented and there will be a period of public comment and input before the vote is taken,” Lyda said.
The City Council will have a work session on Thursday, April 2 at 5 p.m. in council chambers to review the plan and ask the developer questions, Lyda said. While open to the public, work sessions do not have public discussion, he added.
Pate, also a member of the zoning board, said the Hoover City Council will have the final say on the matter.
“I think that the zoning change from industrial to commercial is a great plan that is best for city residents and safer,” Pate said.
Justin Armstrong, manager of commercial sales and development for USS Real Estate, said in an interview that rezoning the 26-acres of land to commercial use will help protect the community. Under the current zoning, the property is restricted for industrial use, primarily because there is a railroad nearby, he said.
Today due to major growth of homes and other development nearby, being rezoned for commercial use is a better fit, Armstrong said. The industrial zoning in place now means any property owner could use the land for auto repair shops, animal clinics or sanitary sewage plants that aren’t good for the community, he said.
“We are the developer for Trace Crossings nearby and feel this is best for the neighborhood,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong told the zoning board a prospective buyer has the land under contract, but couldn’t reveal who they are nor what their plans are.
The 26 acres of land is south of Interstate 459 near South Shades Crest Road and across from Brock’s Gap Parkway. If the council approves the proposed rezoning to commercial, Pate said the city will conduct a study to determine if road work needs to be done to improve traffic flow at the proposed shopping center.