South Shades Crest Road rezoning
A developer wants the Hoover City Council to rezone this 26-acre tract from planned light industrial to planned commercial so that it can build a retail center on the site.
A consultant April 2 recommended the Hoover City Council approve a proposed rezoning of a 26-acre tract on South Shades Crest Road where a developer wants to build a retail development, provided he meet several stipulations including a traffic study.
Bob House told council members during a work session Thursday that the project that could bring a big retail box, a strip center of small shops and gasoline station to vacant land near the Trace Crossings community must abide by a set of recommendations prior to receiving a certificate of occupancy.
The request by 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 session in Council Chambers at Hoover City Hall came four days before the full City Council is set to hold a public hearing during its Monday, April 6 meeting at 6 p.m. USS Real Estate, which owns the land under contract, hasn’t revealed the unnamed developer nor what retailer will go into the big retail box.
Hoover City Executive Allen Pate, who also serves on the zoning panel, said in March after the zoning vote there are strong “rumors that a potential Walmart Neighborhood Market grocery store will be built on the site.” House told council members during the work session that the retail box “will not be” a large retailer such as a Target or Walmart Supercenter.
Hoover City Councilman John Lyda, who serves on the city planning and zoning commission, said the developer or a representative of the city will present their case during the April 6 council meeting. Then Hoover citizens will get a chance to air their feelings about the issue.
Some residents who live near South Shades Crest have expressed opposition, citing traffic concerns. The council will vote on it right after the hearing unless the matter is continued on to the next meeting, Lyda said.
During the work session, Lyda said he and several other council members have received emails from residents complaining about the potential adverse impact of traffic from the development. City officials told the council the developer has submitted a traffic study that indicates traffic flow will be heavier in the afternoons when retail shops are open, but shouldn’t affect morning traffic when the stores are closed.
Lyda asked city officials to share details on the traffic study during the April 6 public hearing.
Besides mandating a traffic study, House said city officials will restrict the developer’s proposed gas station to no more than six pumps and limit lighting so that it won’t have a negative impact on surrounding neighborhoods.
Justin Armstrong, manager of commercial sales and development for USS Real Estate, said in an interview last month 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.