Leeds planning new phase for Grand River
by Will Heath
Dec 19, 2012 | 4022 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
LEEDS — The city council is moving forward with the first steps toward establishing a residential community in the Grand River district.
At Monday’s regular meeting, the council voted unanimously to pass a resolution directing the city’s Planning and Zoning Board to reexamine a zoning ordinance that would create a “Planned Community Development” for Grand River. The first phase would include around 300 homes, according to Mayor David Miller, and the entrance would be located at the intersection of Zeigler Road and Rex Lake Road.
“What we’re going to do is refer this proposal to the Planning and Zoning Board, with the idea it be back to us within 30 days, with their comments and recommendations,” Miller said. “We will take it up at the (Jan. 22) council meeting, for adoption.”
The city sent out notices for a special called meeting on Jan. 4 at 6 p.m. The zoning board’s regular meeting, on Jan. 10 will include a public hearing regarding the ordinance.
Miller said no ordinance currently exists for a planned community development that will be “mixed use” zoning.
“For instance, Phase I of the Grand River development will have 22 acres set aside for an elementary school,” Miller said. “There was originally a plan to have a firehouse in there. Those types of things are not addressed by our current ordinance. 
“We have a proposed overlay for the Grand River property, which is approximately 6,500 acres. This will allow the development of that property, according to the plan that’s already been provided.”
Zoning board chairman Brett Isom told the council that his board has discussed such a district in the past. 
“The PCD district is something that the board has been in negotiations with, between the city and the property owner and the developer, for months, if not years,” Isom said. “A substantial amount of work has already gone into it.”
The Grand River district — made up of 6,500 acres around Exit 140 off Interstate 20 — is currently home to Bass Pro Shop and The Outlet Shops of Grand River, just off U.S. 78. Miller said after the meeting that a planned community would be similar to Ross Bridge, Liberty Park or Mt. Laurel.
“This actually was agreed to at one point in time by the city, in years past,” Miller said. “We would like to revisit that, have Mr. Isom’s committee look at this proposal.
“It’s all residential, with the exception of … land set aside for a school, and possibly some other things that may qualify as ‘mixed use,’ like shops and that sort of thing.”
In other business, the council:
• Assigned the city’s attorneys to Planning and Zoning Board meetings.
• Approved a resolution providing for the city’s participation in the statewide Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, in February.
• Approved a resolution assessing demolition costs at 821 Charles Barkley Dr. against the underlying property.
• Approved a resolution regarding Police Chief Byron Jackson’s request to attend the Alabama Association of Police Chiefs winter conference.
• Rescheduled the regular council meetings of Jan. 7 and Jan. 21 to Jan. 8 and Jan. 22, respectively.
• Approved the minutes of the Dec. 3 regular meeting. 

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