HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) — Monday night’s meeting of the Hoover Planning and Zoning Commission saw a huge crowd, many of them there to express their views on the Trace Crossings development.
The plan, put forth by U.S. Steel and Signature Homes, would see several parcels, or zones of land, with commercial development. Many homeowners have met the plans with resistance and opposition.
“We have a certain amount of privacy and the environmental, the area around us is just beautiful and we’d like to keep it that way,” said Nancy Carr, who lives in the area.
With some aid from residents, representatives from the companies involved unveiled updated amendments and restrictions on Monday night, which would include prohibitions on gas stations and some drive-through restaurants. However, many neighbors spoke out in opposition to that plan, pointing out that hotels could still go in the area, and worrying about the integrity of the neighborhood.
Hoover Place 4 Council Member Mike Shaw says they are addressing the concerns, but adds they are not considering any commercial provisions that are not already in place.
“A lot of the land is currently zoned as industrial, which includes commercial use, and so we wanted to make sure people understand there is already an existing zoning in place,” Shaw said. “Sometimes I think people misunderstand or think we are adding zoning, when there is already something in place.”
Still other community members spoke out against any commercial development in Trace Crossings at all, saying they would not oppose extra residential space in the fourth parcel of the project, but did not want to see added businesses that could increase traffic or, they fear, decrease property values.
In the face of the controversy, the development representative from Signature Homes said he would meet with members of U.S. Steel and go over the plan and the community’s input, hoping to address some of their concerns, before presenting an updated proposal at the board’s April 10th meeting.
“Obviously, there is a lot in play at Hoover,” Shaw said. “We have a lot going on here, but because of the sports facility and because there are so many people that live there, there are so many moving parts with the land and it’s very important to the city that we make the right decision.”