Map provided by city of Hoover
Chapel Farms housing devt 2
The D.R. Horton homebuilding company wants to build 35 houses on 12 acres off Patton Chapel Road in Hoover, Alabama.
The Hoover City Council’s Annexation Committee tonight voted to recommend annexing about 17 acres off Patton Chapel Road, in part to make way for a 42-house subdivision.
But the decision was not unanimous, and it is not final. The full City Council still must take up the issue.
Four sisters from the Douglas family want the city to annex part of their family’s farm property off Patton Chapel Road next to Hoover First United Methodist Church.
The 17 acres the sisters own now contain their parents’ former house, their grandmother’s former apartment, a lake and a landscape supply business that fronts Old Columbiana Road, said Alma Gaudette, one of the sisters.
The D.R. Horton homebuilding company has 12 acres under contract, with a desire to build about 42 houses there. That property is already zoned for garden homes in Jefferson County, but the sisters want to bring it into Hoover, Hoover planning consultant Bob House said.
The other five acres that contains the landscape supply business already is zoned for commercial use in Jefferson County, House said. The Douglas sisters hope to find a buyer for that property for further commercial development, Gaudette said.
Map provided by city of Hoover
Douglas Commons annexation 2
Four sisters in the Douglas family want to annex about 17 acres off Paton Chapel Road and Old Columbiana Road into the city of Hoover. The plan is to have five acres of commercial property fronting Old Columbiana Road and 35 houses on 12 acres, with the entrance coming off Patton Chapel Road.
Councilman Casey Middlebrooks said he favors the idea of annexing islands of unincorporated land surrounded by the city, but he is not thrilled with the idea of garden homes at that location. He asked if the sisters had considered trying to sell all of their property for commercial development.
John Tally, a real estate agent working with the Douglas sisters, said they’ve tried to market the entire property to any kind of buyer they could find, but the interior part of the property has less commercial appeal because it doesn’t have visibility from a main road. Most businesses want to be on U.S. 31 where there is more traffic, he said.
The Annexation Committee ended up voting 4-1 to recommend annexation. Councilman John Lyda, the lone vote against annexation, said after the meeting he’s not certain the city needs to add more small garden homes to its residential landscape.
He has approved projects for larger homes, but this doesn’t seem to be in the city’s best interest, he said.
Both Lyda and Councilman Derrick Murphy opposed other requests to annex two single-family homes on unincorporated property near Ross Bridge and a third single-family home near Riverchase.
Councilman Curt Posey, chairman of the Annexation Committee, pointed out that all three pieces of property are part of islands of unincorporated land encircled by the city.
Lyda said the council in recent years has favored annexing single-family homes completely surrounded by the city but typically not larger islands of unincorporated property.
He’s concerned that starting to annex smaller bits of larger islands could snowball into a problem. “This could get out of hand,” Lyda said.
Stephen Presley, the current president of the Hoover school board, told the Annexation Committee he is very pro-growth and not opposed to annexation of the Douglas property, but if the city continues to annex land, he is concerned about the impact it will have on the school system.
Current school zoning plans are based on expected growth within the existing city limits, and adding more land for residential development could put the school system in a serious bind, Presley said. If city leaders want to keep adding residential land, there need to be some serious conversations about new facilities that might have to be built, he said.
School board member Craig Kelley said “you can’t continue adding onto Hoover High School.” A new high school with a footprint equivalent to Hoover High School would cost the school system $120 million to $150 million, Kelley said.
Both Posey and Mayor Frank Brocato said they think the city needs to at least consider filling in those unincorporated islands of land.
Posey joined Middlebrooks and Councilman John Greene in voting to recommend annexation of the two single-family homes on Silver Spur Lane near Ross Bridge and the single-family home at 720 Carl Raines Lake Road in Riverchase.
The entire five-member Annexation Committee voted in favor of a separate petition to annex a parcel that contains the American Family Care business off U.S. 280 near Alabama 119. In addition to American Family Care, that parcel contains land that is being considered for a day care facility, House said.
All the annexation requests now move on to the full City Council for consideration, though a date for those votes has not been set.
This article was updated on April 7 to correct the number of homes being proposed on the property from 35 to 42.