Jefferson County Commission

Jeffco Commission Delays Decision on Rocky Ridge Development

Jefferson County Commissioner Jimmie Stephens at meeting Aug, 6, 2020. Source: Solomon Crenshaw Jr.

A request to rezone parcels in the Rocky Ridge area for a 25-unit condominium and a 10-lot single-family residential subdivision was delayed Thursday for two weeks for the developer and residents to settle on a possible revision.

The Jefferson County Commission met for 2½ hours, with two hours spent on the requested rezoning. Overton Investments LLC asked to rezone property at 2468 and 2466 Rocky Ridge Road.

Marguerite Haynes was among the residents who spoke against the effort.

“We welcome the development,” she said. “We think that he (Charles Kessler of Overton Investments LLC) is an excellent builder, and that he will do a beautiful job of whatever he puts on that property. We just don’t want a condominium sitting up against the street, so close, so tall and contributing so many cars to an already bad problem that cannot be reversed.”

“We’re used to opposition. Any development, any kind of rezoning case is going to face opposition,” said Jason Kessler of Overton Investments. “That’s just the way it goes. It is a little frustrating to be painted as a villain because we have made every effort to reach out and meet with the neighborhood.

Kessler said he and his father, Charles Kessler, have had multiple meetings with neighbors in the area and have tried to design their development based on the voices of many different people.
“It’s really hard to please everybody,” the younger Kessler said. “We’re doing our best and we’re going to go back; that’s why we’ve continued today, continue to talk to the neighbors see if there’s anything else we can do to make this fit everybody’s wants and needs.”

Commissioners approved 61 resolutions that were vetted during their committee meeting on Tuesday. Among those was the resolution for a brownfield tax abatement agreement, providing economic incentives for a new student housing development near the UAB campus.

The seven-story development, which is expected to house up to 400 residents, will be built atop a brownfield site bordered by 13th and 14th Streets South and Fourth and Fifth Avenues South.
Next Chapter Properties is the Chicago-based real estate developer spearheading the project.