Council prepares for Goose Pond Island rezoning vote

Residents on Goose Pond Island have expressed their concerns over a development that will begin in their communities within the next couple of years.
The development, with Southern Summit Group’s Planner Kevin Tucker, has been the subject of several meetings with residents and recently, with City Council.

Developers recently took into account residents’ concerns over zoning and townhomes. Several proposed entrances to main roads in the communities were also changed to diminish the likelihood of too much traffic bottle-necking and causing a headache and safety issues for residents.

The rezoning up for consideration would allow townhomes, apartments, rentals and commercial retail and properties to be included in the development.
At the council meeting held on Monday, December 6, residents were allowed three minutes at the mic to voice their approval or disapproval and concerns to the council members.
One concern voiced multiple times, centered around the width of a road that would serve as the main collector of the development. Residents stated the road was only 24 feet wide, and a photo was shown with cars parked on either side of the road, barely allowing a truck to pass through the middle safely. One resident suggested widening the road to at least meet other road standard widths, using Huntsville as an example.

According to Huntsville subdivision regulations, the minimum lane width requirements for residential and non-residential major arteries is 12 feet per lane, bringing the total road width to 24 feet. This information can be found on their website’s pdf on page 63 at 3jzi0q2zthm01oqpx2h96lz1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/SubdivisionRegulations.pdf.
Another concern was voiced when a resident stated that with a vehicle parked on either side of the road, there is no way a fire truck or other emergency vehicle would be able to clear the space without a collision. It was then stated that Scottsboro’s fire engines are 10 feet wide. Currently, Alabama state law limits vehicle width to 102 inches, according to the Code of Alabama §39-9-20. Municipalities may be excepted, but Scottsboro does not exceed state law.

According to Scottsboro Fire Chief Gene Necklaus, “National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) 1901 is the national industry standard on fire engines. Fire engine width is set to a maximum of 100 inches to match the majority of state’s laws. All manufacturers build to the NFPA standard, and any exception would require a signed waiver by the purchaser, not to mention a great deal of expense to get something especially fabricated. None of our rolling stock is greater than 100 inches or 8 feet, 4 inches.”

Council members are set to vote on rezoning to allow more single family homes and multi-family units. More acreage will also be designated for vehicles, boats and would include apartments and condos that will not be under any sort of rent subsidies. The vote will take place on Wednesday, December 22, 2021. Residents will still be afforded to right to speak by signing the delegations sheet before the meeting begins. Immediately afterwards, the vote will take place.

by Martha Smith

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