City Council, July 11, 2016

Homewood City CouncilA bid opening is set in September for a multi-million street paving and preservation project, and a bevy of sign variance requests takes up much of tonight’s business.

Members present: Michael Hallman, Britt Thames (arriving mid-meeting), Fred Hawkins, Vance Moody, Patrick McClusky, Walter Jones, Barry Smith, and Alex Wyatt. Also present was Mayor Scott McBrayer.

Absent: Britt Thames (arriving mid-meeting) Richard Laws, Peter Wright, and council president Bruce Limbaugh.

Staff present: Mike Kendrick, city attorney, Melody Salter, finance director and city clerk, J.J. Bischoff, mayor’s chief of staff, Greg Cobb, Building, Engineering and Zoning Department.

Audience attendance: 17

Approved the June 27, 2016, meeting minutes.

Reappointed Jonathan Wayne Thompson to the Ward 1 seat on the Historical Preservation Committee.

Opened a 30-day application period for the Ward 2 Park Board seat: Marjorie Davis Trimm currently has the position.

Dropped, by consent agenda, several items, including a matter to paint curb addresses in residential areas.


Allowed a business to clear and pave a dirt alley behind 1817 Oxmoor Road.

Approved a street light at 2726 16th Place South.

Voted support for a state retail off-premise beer and wine license at the Chevron station at 197 Oxmoor Road.

Reported receipt of a $1,571 debt to clear a 32-year-old lien at 2516 17th Street South.

Approved an additional $750 expenditure for Skipper consulting to complete traffic counts on Reese Street.

An example not in Homewood of a flattened second story roofline used to gain space. Builders are suggesting homeowners and builders will resort to unattractive flattened rooflines to gain space needed to justify the expense of rising Homewood land values.

An example not in Homewood of a flattened second story roofline used to gain space. Builders are suggesting homeowners and builders will resort to unattractive flattened rooflines to gain space needed to justify the expense of rising Homewood land values.

Continued a controversial bid by zoning staff to limit residential building height and make other zoning changes:  These proposed changes to the zoning book would have the effect of limiting single family housing height, contested by many builders and embraced by many residents. The matter was proposed at the Planning Commission on April 5, and discussed in committees before a council hearing June 13 drew complaints from two builders, and was carried over.  A Planning Commission sub-committee will hold a public forum for all concerned on the matter on July 19 at 6 p.m. in council chambers. 

Awarded a contract for 7 or 8 police rifles to Clyde Armory: The $18,000 price was negotiated by the police chief after the company was the only bidder.

Dropped an item related to mosquito prevention: The city’s attempt to obtain free mosquito larvacide disks to distribute was dropped. Residents of Jefferson County may still pick them up for free at the Jefferson County Department of Health.  

Dropped a sign variance request on behalf of applicant: The applicant, an antique store, withdrew a request for more signage at 2700 19th Place South.

Britt Thames arrived.

135 West Valley Avenue

135 West Valley Avenue

Granted an extra sign for a West Valley Avenue business: The business at 135 West Valley Avenue can’t put up a freestanding sign for reasons of space and expense and asked for an additional building sign instead, which was granted.


An ice cream shop is planned next to Jersey Mike's.

An ice cream shop is planned next to Jersey Mike’s.

Approved an additional internal sign for an ice cream shop downtown: The business will be adjacent to the Jersey Mike’s sub shop in the former Four Seasons gallery. Regulations allow for only two internal signs; the approved request allows a third.



929 Oxmoor Road (bike frames are removed)


Granted a variance to all 929  sign on Oxmoor Road: Owners of Sprout Flower Market are moving into the vacant bike shop at 929 Oxmoor Road and requested a secondary, two-sided blade sign to project out from the corner of the adjacent spa building (on the left in the Google picture, bike frames have been removed) to be visible from north and south traffic.

Hand-drawn sketch of a wall mural by 929 Oxmoor Road. The council will consider the request in committee.

Hand-drawn sketch of a wall mural by 929 Oxmoor Road. The council will consider the request in committee.

The business partners also want to display the message “Home Sweet Homewood” or something similar, with a wooden flower design on the spa building’s wall. That request, however, will be studied in committee. The partners submitted a hand-drawn picture of their sign and concept, as well as a photo of the completed sign on a cell phone. The blade sign was approved.

Awarded a bid for 22 police tasers: The low bidder, Gulf States Distributors, bid $1,724 per taser. 

Voted support for a state retail liquor license application for Red Clay Bar & Event Services, at Rosewood Hall.


To Finance – To consider 1) Setting a bid opening to buy license plate readers for the police department; and 2) Amending the current parks budget.

To Public Safety – To consider speeding and traffic concerns on Saulter Road.

To Public Works – To consider 1) Granting a right-of-way easement at 2908 18th Street to allow a level entrance way to be built for better handicap accessibility; and 2) Hear an update on the bad smell from the Barbers/Buffalo Rock plants on West Oxmoor Road.

1717 Shades Park Drive

1717 Shades Park Drive

To Special Issues – To consider 1) Allowing a variance to the sign ordinance at 3450 Manor Drive; and 2) Allowing a variance to the fence ordinance at 1717 Shades Park Drive.




Set July 25 public hearings for sign and fence ordinance variances. See Special Issues cases, above.

Paid the bills: Invoices for the period June 27-July 10, 2016, were approved to be paid.

Almost renewed a copier lease: A last minute appearance by the city’s IT director to change the name of the lease contract from Konica Minolta to Ameritek Document Solutions led to confusing discussion about the actual lease (Ameritek), and the procedure for approving contracts. While the lease will return to the Finance Committee before a vote July 25, Mr. Yates pointed out that the equipment could possibly be picked up by Xerox without a more timely renewal.

Entered an agreement with the state transportation department that allows ServisFirst to make landscaping improvements that the city will have to maintain: ServisFirst will be making improvements on ALDOT right-of-way for its new headquarters building in Rosedale, but it will be the city, not ServisFirst, responsible if the company fails to maintain those improvements. The measure was approved. It was explained that ALDOT only enters into contracts with municipalities, not private businesses, and the city’s tax abatement agreement with ServisFirst includes such maintenance agreement anyway.

Set a September 19, bid opening for a multi-million paving and road treatment plan: The mayor’s initiative to spend $2.3 million or more of a $4 million, 8-year plan by Volkert Engineering to address poor streets was approved and now moves to competitive bids. Bids will be opened at 5 p.m., September 19th. 


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