Planning Commission, September 6, 2016


Wildwood parcels are being redrawn in part to align with the Homewood/Birmingham city line, which is in dispute.

Two commercial projects, one big and one small, asked to rearrange lot lines in conjunction with major building additions. On the small side, Covenant Classical School, a daycare next to the Publix Center, plans to build a separate infant center on the north side of the lot, where currently there is parking. The lot lines are being redrawn from the original to accommodate the shape of the new building and 500-foot setback from Publix buildings. More below.

On the large side, engineers for the Wildwood South renovation have asked to redraw three parcel boundaries and to let the largest two parcels be divided along the Birmingham-Homewood city line. The discussion, below, showed there is some dispute between the two cities on where that line should be. Tonight’s vote is conditioned on an agreement.

Members present: Billy Higginbotham, chair, Mike Brandt, Jeffrey Foster, James Riddle, and Battalion Chief Nickolas Hill.

Members absent: Fred Azbik, Fred Hawkins, and Mark Woods.

Vacancy: Jamie Ponseti resigned following the November meeting. Mr. Ponseti filled the “mayor’s designee” spot on the commission. The mayor or a new designee can be named to fill the vacancy.

Staff attendance: Donna Bridges, commission secretary, Vanessa McGrath and Greg Cobb, city Building, Engineering and Zoning Department.

Audience attendance:  3

Approved minutes of August, 2016 meetings.

A council committee seems to be zeroing in on a height limit for houses on narrow lots. A vote may come at the next council meeting.

A council committee seems to be zeroing in on a height limit for houses on narrow lots. A vote may come at the next council meeting.

Reported the latest thoughts on the controversial zoning height discussion for NPD housing:  Ms. McGrath said the Planning and Development Committee voted earlier in the evening to recommend a 29-foot height limit for houses on lots 55 feet and narrower and a 35-foot limit for houses on wider lots. The recommendation would carry the condition that the 29-foot limit–which would be measured from the front door threshold to the highest point on the roof–could be as much as three feet higher (from the ground)  to accommodate a full basement in cases where ground sloped down to the street by such an angle.


Parcel being redrawn on the Birmingham side of the municipal boundary in Wildwood.


Parcel on the Homewood side of the disputed boundary through Wildwood.

Approved a resurvey of 54.3 acres commercial land crossing the Birmingham city line to be called Wildwood Centre South: The redevelopment of Wildwood involved moving the boundary of a small parcel by Lakeshore Parkway away from roadway, a move which affected the boundaries of two other adjacent parcels, only one of them on the Homewood side of the line. The engineer explained that while the lines are being redrawn anyway (which is in the approval process in Birmingham already), the developers want to shift the line between to two largest parcels (shown) to coincide with the municipal dividing line. Because that is a matter of dispute, tonight’s vote and Birmingham’s vote to redraw the lines are contingent on the two cities agreeing on where that line is drawn.

Covenant Classical School plans an addition.

Covenant Classical School plans an addition.

Allowed the Covenant preschool to redraw lot lines for an expanded building and parking: An engineer spoke for the school, explaining that it plans to build an “infant center” on the north parcel, which originally was set aside for separate office space later incorporated into the main building. The new plan also shifts the building to comply with the original requirement that the school building be at least 500 feet from the nearest Publix center building. Click here for the zoomable pdf.


2 responses to “Planning Commission, September 6, 2016

  1. Are members of the planning commission paid by Homewood?


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