Tag: Birmingham City Council

West End Rezoning ‘Back to Drawing Board’ After Residents’ Wishes Unheeded

Birmingham City Council delayed plans for rezoning the city’s West End community at Tuesday’s meeting, citing concerns that the city had not effectively communicated with residents.

Two West End residents — Oakwood Place Neighborhood Association Secretary Nell Allen and resident Samuel Mills — said the rezoning plan the council was being asked to vote on significantly differed from what city planners promised residents at recent neighborhood association meetings. Both Allen and Mills said that properties zoned as single-use residential were being rezoned despite protests from residents.

“We had a meeting, and it was told to us that the changes would be made before we came to the city council this morning,” Mills said. “We really don’t want this.” Read more.

Birmingham Council Debates Whether a Rezoning Would Ruin Druid Hills or Help Make It a Village

Two small residential properties in Birmingham’s Druid Hills neighborhood took on much larger significance during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, as a chaotic debate over whether they should be rezoned to accommodate their owners’ legal practice ballooned into a discussion of the economic future of Birmingham’s black neighborhoods. Read more.

Birmingham City Council bogs down in debate over Ensley gas station

For the second week in a row, the Birmingham City Council found itself mired in a debate over the proposed closure of an Ensley gas station where three homicides have occurred.

In contrast to July 24’s meeting, though, the discussion Tuesday was more procedural than emotional, with District 8 Councilor Steven Hoyt launching what he characterized as a “protest” against the public safety committee’s decision to keep the matter from coming before the full council.

The Shell station in question is located on the 800 block of Third Avenue West in Ensley — which is in Hoyt’s district — and has been the site of three homicides since 2015. Most recently, Antonio Jerrell Taylor was shot and killed there on June 10.

Read more.

‘Gentlemen!’ Gas Station Safety Debate Turns Heated, Ends With Rebuke

Tempers flared on the Birmingham City Council during Tuesday’s meeting over a proposal to revoke the business license of a gas station where several people have been killed.

Item 53 on the council’s agenda would have revoked the business license of the Shell station on the 800 block of Third Avenue W. The station of three shootings.

District 8 Councilor Steven Hoyt, whose district includes the Shell station in question, unilaterally placed the item on the meeting’s agenda despite the recommendation of the council’s public safety committee, which is headed by District 2 Councilor Hunter Williams, to keep the issue of the gas station in committee.

The committee voted during its July 17 meeting to keep the station open after an attorney for the business owner, Mohamed Nasher, presented a safety plan that included extra “no loitering signs,” additional security from off-duty police officers, and an increase in cameras and lighting at the gas station. The station will remain under committee review for a year. Read more.

Birmingham City Council approves funding for metal detectors, enrichment programs for city schools

Security in Birmingham City Schools will be getting a boost this fall, after the Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to allocate $3,665,000 in funding to the city Board of Education.

According to the agreement, which was passed unanimously, that funding will be divided among school security, academic and athletic support, and after-school care and summer enrichment programs.

Of that $3,665,000 — which comes from the city’s general fund — $1,362,000 will go toward the purchase of 14 walk-through metal detectors, 20 handheld scanners, door alarms, security officers, and crossing guards and substitutes.
Read more.

Mayor Woodfin Previews FY 2019 Budget, the City’s Largest Ever

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin gave members of the City Council a preview of his proposed FY 2019 operating budget during a committee meeting Wednesday.

While his brief presentation included few specifics — the full operating budget will be presented during the City Council’s meeting Tuesday — Woodfin did address the pressing issue of the city’s unfunded pension liability and encourage neighborhood associations to be more proactive in their individual revitalization efforts.

At $436 million, the new budget will be the city’s largest to date, edging out the previous year’s budget by $8 million. Woodfin is using a zero-based budgeting process, meaning that each budget item is considered anew, not based on its inclusion or lack thereof in the previous year’s budget. Read more.

Birmingham Pursuing Grant for Titusville Pedestrian Bridge

The Birmingham City Council passed a resolution Tuesday authorizing Mayor Randall Woodfin to pursue a grant from the Alabama Department of Transportation to build a pedestrian bridge across a Titusville railroad track. The bridge would allow students of the neighborhood’s Booker T. Washington K-8 School to safely cross the track. Read more.

Birmingham City Council Approves “Brunch Bill,” Extension of 1-Cent Sales Tax

April 10, 2018 — The Birmingham City Council approved two revenue-generating ordinances during Tuesday’s meeting — one allowing for earlier alcohol sales on Sundays and the other extending the city’s 1-cent sales tax indefinitely.

The first of those, nicknamed the “brunch bill,” will allow restaurants in the city to service alcohol for on-premises consumption starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays. Previously, restaurants had been barred from selling alcohol from 2 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sundays, a rule that still applies to retailers selling alcohol for off-premises consumption.

The sales tax extension proved more controversial, with two councilors expressing concern over how the revenue was being spent. Read more.

Birmingham Council Rejects License for Scrap Metal Processor, Cites Pollution of Black Neighborhoods

March 20, 2018 — Citing a need to change historical disenfranchisement and pollution of Birmingham’s black neighborhoods, the Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to deny a scrap metal processors license to a company attempting to establish a scrap-processing yard in the Acipco-Finley neighborhood.

A group of citizens from that neighborhood appeared at the meeting’s public hearing to speak against the proposal from Jordan Industrial Services.

Jordan’s attorney, Mike Brown, argued that Jordan had worked to clean up the property, alleging that its previous tenant, Kimmerling Truck Parts and Equipment, had left “a pretty bad eyesore for the community.”
But residents argued that a new coat of paint and some cleaning wouldn’t address the larger issues of air pollution generated by the yard.

A 2012 report by the Houston Chronicle, found “dangerous levels” of hexavalent chromium — a highly carcinogenic pollutant also known as Chrome VI — in the areas surrounding five metal recycling operations in that city. Read more.