By Hannah Curran, Editor-in-Chief
TRUSSVILLE – Trussville City Council heard feedback from citizens of Trussville on the proposed Glendale Farms development in Carrington on Tuesday, May 10.
Trussville City Schools (TCS) Dr Pattie Neill said the Glendale Farms development provides 21 acres of “free land designated for a primary school”.
“It allows us to accelerate our plans from 2019 into the pre-planning stages to move faster with primary school,” Neill said. “I want to reiterate that since 2019 we have been looking for a place, and when the developers offered the land for the fourth primary school, it could launch us into the planning phase and out of the pre-planning phase. I know there are a lot of different things to consider, but this is amazing.
Neill said this development with the school would solve the problem TCS has had since 2019, which is the need for a fourth primary school.
Paine Primary School (PES) principal Dr Lisa Lothspeich said she was aware of the considerations that went into the council’s decision but wanted to represent PES saying they were overcrowded .
“We are overcrowded in our school, our school was designed to accommodate 1,000 students; we’re at 1,301 right now,” Lothspeich said. “If we look at the trend of all the subdivisions, within two years, we will be at 1,500 students. We can try to manage this as best we can, but it’s very difficult, we just want to make sure we’re giving our students all the opportunities they deserve.
Related story: TCS Discusses Potential Fourth Primary School
Trussville resident Heather Richards said her concern was not necessarily about the project, but about the time of the project.
“It’s no secret that Highway 11 is very, very congested, and with new construction going through I-59, the closure of Chalkville Moutain, and the closure of Deerfoot, all that traffic is going to have to heading toward Highway 11.” Richards said. “So having this construction on Highway 11 is only going to make the problem worse. I just want the council to urge caution with this project.
Related story: Glendale Farms developers in Carrington discussed potential neighborhood design at town workshop
Ron Hill, current president of the Carrington Lakes Homeowners Association (HOA), said the developer tried to show the value of this project to the town of Trussville and TSC, but Hill said the project did the opposite.
“We’re confident that this project doesn’t benefit the city and the school system and the people I represent as much as it benefits the developer and its partners,” Hill said. “We are realistic, practical and understand that a project must make money, but we don’t want this developer’s thirst for profit to cost us, the Town of Trussville and TCS money. by inserting harm and uncertainty into our real estate market by threatening our long-term investments once this developer is out of the picture.
Hill said his concerns relate to high density housing at Glendale Farms and thinks it is “irrelevant play to donate land for a public school in the Glendale Farms development.
“We are deeply concerned that this project is an unproven concept that introduces instability into our real estate market,” Hill said. “We certainly respect the beneficial nature of the school proposal, the cost savings it represents to the school system, and the opportunity to limit the sponsor’s tax liability by making such a generous and benevolent donation to our school system, but we think it’s nothing more than a superficial dress-up and shakedown.
He also suggested that the developer be mandated to begin construction of Sweet Pea Road and Mary Road when 50% of Glendale Farms lots receive their certificates of occupancy from the city.
“These roads must be completed before the development receives 65% of the project’s planned certificates of occupancy,” Hill said.
Ben Horton spoke on behalf of the people of Carrington and said Trussville’s growth trajectory could fall into a situation of “uncontrolled growth”.
“There are early indicators that can help identify if growth is too fast, such as heavy traffic buildup, overcrowded school systems and overstretched public services,” Horton said. “These issues usually lead to a decrease in the quality of life for city residents.”
Horton also said he’s seen data showing that a school built near you doesn’t increase the value of your property.
“For a local example, you can look at the history of land values surrounding Magnolia Elementary School (MES) or many communities in Birmingham,” Horton said. “It’s not a school’s physical location that increases property value, it’s the school’s ranking that increases property value.”
Horton told the board not to let the pressures push them into making a decision focused on chaotic growth.
Residents of Trussville also expressed concerns about the proposed development of Glendale Farms in Carrington at the planning and zoning meeting on Monday April 11. The Planning and Zoning Committee returned the Planned Unit Development (PUD) to Trussville City Council with a negative recommendation.
Related story: Residents voice concerns over Glendale Farms in Carrington, planning and zoning vote ‘no’
Redmont Consulting Group managing director and project development consultant Doug Neil said he spoke about the development plan based on the 250 acres.
“We offer 419 units, total residential on 250 acres, we offer a school site of 24.6 acres which are approximately 107 acres of open space and greenways, approximately 15,000 square feet of neighborhood commercial property, a new connection to Highway 11, and community amenities that will accompany the various development phases of the project,” said Neil.
Neil said oDuring the period of time that things that have been incorporated into the development plan are a planning process, where they have answered questions and concerns where there has been an opportunity to improve the plan by taking feedback, they have tried to do so.
“At the same time, we have tried to address gaps that exist in the community and/or community needs, such as the school site, such as the need to address access to Carrington for life , security and other purposes, and the challenges caused by the railway,” Neil said.
In other matters, the Board approved:
- Order to declare two city-owned properties surplus and then sell both to the City Redevelopment Authority;
- Public hearing on the release of Wisteria Trace rights of way;
- Release Wisteria Trace rights of way on the north side of Glen Cross Phase 2;
- Public hearings on ABC’s applications for Dos Botellas Mexican restaurant, Mr. Wests Asian Kitchen and Hamilton Place Shell;
- Resolution to approve the ABC license for the Mexican restaurant Dos Botellas;
- Resolution to approve the ABC license for Mr. Wests Asian Kitchen;
- Resolution to approve the ABC license for Hamilton Place Shell;
- Resolution to award Gymnastic Academy construction tender to Stone Building Company;
- FIRST READING ONLY – Order to re-zone Glendale Farms to PUD (Planned Urban Development District) from A-1/I-1/I-2 (Agricultural and Industrial Districts);
- Public hearing on proposed rezoning of Glendale Farms;
- Parking easement agreement between the city and AL Trussville Hwy 11 LLC regarding public use of BOE parking spaces;
- Reappoint Darrell Skipper to the Planning and Zoning Commission; term ending June 11, 2028;
- Appoint Tony Riley as supernumerary to the Zoning Adjustment Board; term ending February 15, 2025;
- Promote Police Administrative Clerk Givonne Halbert to Administrative Assistant (Grade 16 – Step 4), effective May 21, 2022;
- Hire Jacob Carmichael, Laynee Spurlin, Allie Monski, Deshazo Bryant, Carter Lybrand, Samuel Jordan, Brady Ryan and Garrett Long as Seasonal Lifeguards (Grade 7 – Stage 1), starting May 21, 2022;
- Hire Haleigh Chambers and Nolan Armstrong as Seasonal Lifeguards (Grade 7 – Stage 2), effective May 21, 2022;
- Hire Layton Lambert as Seasonal Lifeguards (Grade 7 – Stage 4), effective May 21, 2022;
- Hire Taylor Rager and Sadie Westerhouse as part-time recreational gymnastics instructors (Grade 12 – Stage 1), effective May 21, 2022;
- Hire McGuire Brooks as a Part-Time Recreation Unskilled Laborer (Grade 7 – Step 1), effective May 21, 2022; and
- Hire Brian Woods and Shanta Scott as full-time Public Works Skilled Laborers (Grade 12 – Level 2), effective May 21, 2022.
Audit of accounts
- Accounts payable;
- Government Finance Officers Association of Alabama Summer Conference for Chief Financial Officer Mike Hinson and Senior Accountant Jenny Shipp, Aug. 10-12 in Orange Beach. $600 registration fee plus accommodation;
- Red Dot Pistol Fundamentals Instructor Course for Police Sgt. Chad Jones and Detective Michael Montana, Sept. 13-14 in Tuscaloosa. $900 registration fee; and
- Alabama Municipal Revenue Officers Association Summer Conference for Assistant Accountant II Cathy Jensen (Administration), Aug. 1-3 in Mobile. $265 registration fee plus accommodation.
The next Council workshop is scheduled for Thursday, May 19, starting at 5:00 p.m. The next regular session will follow at 6 p.m.