Huntsvillle City Councilwoman Sandra Moon response

To all concerned residents in the Branscomb area:

I became aware late last week that questions had come up in regard to a proposed rezoning of the undeveloped, green area running behind Branscomb and Aldridge Creek.

I have checked out the details with our Planning Dept. and I want to first dispel two connected rumors.

This property is NOT being bought by the Huntsville Housing Authority in order to build apartments or duplexes. I repeat: this property is NOT being bought by the Huntsville Housing Authority. A private developer is interested in purchasing the property.

It is my understanding his purchase of the property is conditional upon a successful rezoning from R1B to R2. R2 does, indeed, allow for attached single homes and duplexes -- among other uses.

The developer has indicated to the Planning Dept. that he is really interested in the ability to put a larger house on each lot.

We have had other rezonings in recent months for just such purposes. This is usually sought when a developer realizes that many retirees want to have a large house but do not want a big lot to take care of.

My understanding is that this developer is willing to put conditions on the "plat". What this means is he will use a legal method to preclude his building anything but single family homes.

Once such a conditioned rezoning is granted, the conditions stay with the lots regardless of whoever future owners might be or what they might desire. The Planning Commission Public Hearing is a process governed by law.

The Public Hearing is set weeks ahead of time and is advertised in the newspaper. The Planning Commission Public Hearing is scheduled next week, November 24th at 5 pm in City Council Chambers.

Following the Public Hearing, the Planning Commission has four choices. Please understand that the Planning Commission does NOT have the final decision. Every rezoning has to come before the City Council with a non-binding recommendation from the Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission can recommend or disapprove the rezoning to the City Council. They can also send it to City Council with no recommendation or they can send the action back to the Planning Dept. for more work. I, again, want to emphasize that the City Council has the final say in rezoning matters.

There will be another legal Public Hearing on the matter before the City Council makes a decision. I don't know when this issue might come before City Council, but I will keep you informed as I have more information. Please feel free to forward this email to anyone with an interest in the matter.

I am definitely listening to my constituents on this issue and I invite your comments. I anticipate a large number of emails and phone calls and apologize ahead of time for possible tardy responses on my part.

Sincerely, Sandra