A massive digital billboard that went up near Homewood on unincorporated county land led to an annexation drive to bring in six unincorporated properties into city jurisdiction. Now that it’s complete, one of those properties, San Miguel restaurant on Green Springs, is disputing the zoning process that will ban the familiar fireworks sales and trailer. It was pulled from a group of four properties that are in the process of being rezoned to Homewood regulations.
Members present: Michael Hallman, Fred Hawkins, Britt Thames, Patrick McClusky, Walter Jones, Barry Smith, Alex Wyatt, and Peter Wright, presiding in place of absent council president Bruce Limbaugh. Also present was Homewood Mayor Scott McBrayer.
Members absent: Vance Moody, Bruce Limbaugh and Rich Laws (arriving midway through the meeting).
Staff present: City attorney Mike Kendrick, mayor’s chief of staff J. J. Bischoff, and Greg Cobb, Building, Engineering and Zoning Department.
Audience present: 17
Approved minutes of January 11, 2016, meeting.
Referred back to committee a discussion about a street excavation ordinance that would address poor street repairs by utility companies: In a work session last week it was discussed and carried over that the city should amend its ordinance to perform its own street repairs following utility work and pass the costs to the utility in question. It was also discussed that the city inspections office should have the permitting and inspections responsibility for this work and not, as the law is written now, have the clerk’s office issue permits. The matter was referred to the Finance Committee.
Kicked back to committee a request for a front fence on Wellington that has received neighborhood opposition: The owner at 1732 Wellington Road was present tonight for this hearing, which was continued from the last February meeting, when a neighbor spoke in opposition. From discussion is was learned the homeowner began building a knee-high fence behind a hedge in her front yard, when the city stopped work pending an approved fence variance from the council. That was not granted tonight, however. The homeowner said her justifying hardships include a steep cliff-like backyard that made the property unusable, and a circular drive that took up much of the front yard. She said the fence would provide a safer place to play for her children. One neighbor from 1907 Wellington spoke in support, but there was word that others had send emails in opposition. It was decided to explore the issue further before a vote and the matter was returned to the Special Issues Committee.
Carried over a request for a sign variance at a freestanding medical clinic on Lakeshore Drive: Med Help is trying to negotiate a change in signs while still needing special permission to waive certain regulations, which were not discussed tonight. The applicants aren’t prepared and the matter was carried over.
Approved spending the remaining balance of the West Homewood street project to replace landscaping, repair or replace removed irrigation: An amount not to exceed $5,000 remaining in the balance of the street repair project was approved to be paid to the park and recreation departments to replace places and sprinkler lines that were removed to install sidewalks.
Approved certain maintenance equipment surplus and due to be sold: To be sold are 1) a Champion/Gardner Denver Shop Air compressor; Air Dryer and Air Reservoir Tank.
Mr. Laws arrived.
Approved a change to the current HVAC maintenance agreement: the contract with Trane Building Services for City Hall was renewed with a $374 increase that fell within the current amount budgeted.
Approved a bus shelter on city right-of-way at Barber Court: Barber Companies have paid the required 20% share of the costs to have a covered bus shelter at a stop near their company at 36 Barber Court. Company representatives said the shared-cost program is responsible for four other such shelters in Homewood. Tonight’s vote allowed the shelter to be placed in the city right-of-way contingent on the transit authority signing a hold-harmless agreement with the city.
Voted in support of a state beer and wine retail license for the Hometown Supermarket at 808 Green Springs Highway: The license applies to the Mr. Chen’s restaurant and supermarket.
Voted in support of a state ABC Beer and Wine off-premises only license for two convenience stores on Green Springs Highway: The former Kangaroo Express stores at 821 and 400 Green Springs Highway were sold to Circle K and require new licenses.
Postponed a vote in support of a state Package Store and Retail Beer and Wine licenses for Homewood Fuel/liquor store on West Valley: The businesses located at 317A West Valley Avenue include a package store, which is requesting a Lounge Retail Liquor Class II license, and a convenience store, both now owned by AAMR, Inc. A new license is required because the business changed hands. Tonight, Public Safety chair Mr. McClusky asked for a postponement while they figure out issues having to do with the actual addresses of the two locations.
COMMITTEE REFERRAL AGENDA
To Finance – To consider 1) Amendments to the current budget; 2) Finding funds to hire an environmental consultant; 3) An agreement benefiting the fire department to join the Birmingham Emergency Communication District/Jefferson County 800 MHz/SmartX Radio System; 4) Leasing public safety communications equipment for police and fire; 5) Amending the current E911 budget; 6) Traffic issues and a street light on Manhattan Street (also considered in Public Safety); and 7) Hiring an insurance consultant.
To Planning and Development – To consider 1) A zoning application from JC Commercial to Homewood GURD on behalf of the property at 201 Green Springs Highway (San Miguel restaurant owned by Rivas Justo & Cesar Gonzales), annexed last year; 2) A zoning application from Circle K on Columbiana (BP Station), annexed last year, from JC Commercial to Homewood C-2 (Neighborhood Shopping); 3) A zoning application on behalf of One West Associates, Inc. to zone property at #1 West Lakeshore Drive from JC C-1 to Homewood C-2 (Neighborhood Shopping); and 4) A zoning application on behalf of Southeast Medical Homewood LLC at 35 West Lakeshore Drive, which was annexed last year, from JC Preferred Commercial to Homewood C-1 Office Building District; and 5) An annexation petition from Matthew and Shana Klein for residential property at 1601 Shades Glen Circle in Forest Brook, unincorporated Jefferson County to Homewood.
To Public Safety – To consider traffic concerns on Central Avenue and a street light on Manhattan.
To Public Works – To consider allowing work in the city right-of-way adjacent to 12 West Lakeshore Drive.
OTHER NEW BUSINESS
Set April 11 public hearings before enacting Homewood zoning on three of four properties annexed in 2015 from unincorporated Jefferson County: The San Miguel restaurant property, whose adjacent empty lot is the seasonal home of a now contested fireworks trailer, will not be processed for the new Homewood zoning until a dispute is cleared up over the trailer and business. City Attorney Mike Kendrick said after the meeting that the owners contend the trailer — and the fireworks sales, which are outlawed in Homewood–were grandfathered in when the property was annexed to the city. They have asked for a meeting and Mr. Kendrick advised that the agenda item go back to the Planning Commission until the issue is cleared to the owner’s satisfaction. Without zoning, there can be no business license issued. The annexation was done by act of the state legislature on a second attempt, and after state Sen. Jabo Waggonner refused to sponsor it until Buffalo Rock’s Citation Court property was removed from the list. That done, the annexations were completed last summer, but the city observed a waiting period and didn’t start the rezoning until the March 2016 Planning Commission meeting. For more on the annexation click here.
Dropped an item to have a public hearing for a residential annexation, above: The property in question at 1601 Shades Glen Circle, being surrounded by Homewood jurisdiction already, can be annexed without a public hearing, which was dropped. It was unclear whether the annexation was automatically approved or will be approved at a later vote.
Approved support of an ABC Board retail Beer and Wine license application for Holler and Dash: Like beer with your biscuits? The vote of support is for an application for the Cracker Barrel concept diner open at 2801 18th Street South.
Closed out the final payment of the West Homewood Oak Grove Project: Except for approximately $5,000, which was approved later in the meeting to be paid to the Park and Recreation department for repairs, the $400,000 project is complete. Surplus funds from some cost cutting measures were spent on tables and chairs for outdoor dining, and a children’s’ safety barrier around the outdoor curb/eating area.
Rescheduled the next City Council meeting from March 28 to March 21 (next week). The change is to accommodate Spring Break.
Paid the bills: Invoices for the period Feb. 22-March 11, 2016 were approved to be paid.