The Hoover City Council will hold a work session at 5 p.m. today, April 2, to hear more details on a potential retail development that could bring a Walmart Neighborhood Market near the Trace Crossings community.
The meeting in Council Chambers at Hoover City Hall comes as the full City Council is set to hold a public hearing during its Monday, April 6 meeting 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.
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. 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, but I can’t confirm that.”
During the City Council work session today, April 2, council chambers will review the plan and ask the developer questions, said Hoover City Councilman John Lyda, who serves on the city planning and zoning commission. While open to the public, work sessions do not allow public discussion. Lyda said citizens can have their say during the Monday, April 6 public hearing.
Lyda 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.
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.
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