Bluff Park resident Robin Schultz stands in front of a pole in need of paint and refurbishing in front of El Gringo Mexican restaurant in Shades Mountain Plaza.
Hoover City Councilman Gene Smith says he is investigating whether the city can implement a commercial property nuisance ordinance.
Smith said he has been working with the city attorney and staff to see what can be legally done to address complaints some Bluff Park residents have had about deteriorating conditions at Shades Mountain Plaza shopping center. Smith said there is a statewide law dealing with trash and other issues that can be considered nuisances on some commercial properties, but there is no city ordinance in place dealing with the issue.
“I’m working with the city attorney and his staff to see we can do,” Smith said in an Aug. 19 interview. “I hope within the next few weeks to be able to present something before the council.”
Smith’s remarks came just days after Robin Schultz, creator of the BluffParkal.org website and Facebook page appeared before the Hoover City Council during its Aug. 17 meeting to complain about the conditions of Shades Mountain Plaza.
“Approximately two months ago we brought to this council some conversations we’ve been having with Mr. Chris Gauldin, owner of part of Shades Mountain Plaza, about some conditions at his shopping center that may be considered a public nuisance,” Schultz said during the meeting. “I spoke to the council asking for some help and how the condition of this shopping center was a public nuisance just as the residences are that have overgrown brush and other items.”
Schultz said he knows how Hoover has built a reputation for being business friendly, but urged the city council and mayor “to put a bit more emphasis on businesses that don’t do the right thing.”
“Mr. Gauldin is operating at a very slow pace concerning this shopping center,” Schultz said. “Businesses are seeing things slow down. They would like to see business improve. We would like to see additional tenants in there.”
Schultz said the portions of Shades Mountain Plaza owned by other entities keep their outward appearance neat and clean. Gauldin’s side, which includes El Gringo Mexican restaurant, a Bluff Park post office, Robert’s Discount Pharmacy and Piggly-Wiggly grocery store, is plagued by peeling paint, potholes and other issues, he said.
“I’m asking the city to step up and help the tenants out there so that we can make it a more business-friendly community,” Schultz said. “In Bluff Park, we would like to see a bit more emphasis from the city in enforcing this.
Smith told Schultz the council is already working with the city attorney and staff to see what they can do about that situation.
“Unfortunately, it is taking a bit longer than we expected,” Smith said.
Since early August, Gauldin has begun to spruce up the property a bit. He has begun painting some of the poles on the property and pressure washed part of the roof. But Schultz said the owner is moving “very slowly.”
Here is our previous coverage on the Shades Mountain Plaza issue.