Another possibility is state legislation authorizing the Shelby County Commission to regulate wind-generated energy production facilities in the county's unincorporated areas. The bill would be similar to one enacted in Baldwin County this year, Womack said. "Wind turbines are planned to be placed on ridges north of Shelby County in Etowah and Cherokee counties, just one county away. The northern area of the Dunnavant Valley is in an un-zoned area. Such a law would provide this area some ridge protections even without zoning," he said.
NORTH SHELBY COUNTY, Alabama – The Shelby County Department of Development Services is hosting a public meeting on the proposed Dunnavant Valley Small Area Plan that outlines strategies for dealing with growth in the north Shelby County region.
The meeting with the department’s staff will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 8 at Mt. Laurel Elementary School’s cafeteria. County staff will discuss the draft plan that resulted from community workshops and input from the Dunnavant Valley Small Area Plan steering committee.
“Staff took their feedback from these workshops and formulated a reasonable plan of action with timelines of anticipated completion,” Eric Womack, senior planner for Shelby County Development Services, said in an e-mail.
“Following the staff presentation, the public will be able to ask questions concerning the plan. This additional feedback plus any feedback received through the end of August will be used to revise the draft plan as needed prior to presentation of the draft plan to the Shelby County Planning Commission,” he said.
Find the plan at Shelby County’s website at www.shelbycountyalabama.com under the Development Services page, or by clicking here.
The Shelby County Planning Commission, the body that will ultimately determine whether to approve the document, will receive a presentation on the amended draft plan in October.
Womack pointed to some highlights of the plan, with a top issue mentioned by the public at some community workshops involving an increased police presence in Dunnavant Valley and the location of a substation in the community.
Womack said the public was split at November presentations on adding a substation. “But in the research that staff did to check on crimes and traffic accidents in the Dunnavant Valley over the last five years to determine what problems are documented there to justify the need for an increased police presence, staff found some incidents that stood out above the rest,” he said.
“Feedback received from residents last fall included a speeding problem on Dunnavant Valley Road; however, the 89 accident reports did not show speeding in the top three contributing factors, which were unseen objects, DUI and following too close,” he said.
The top two crimes in the area over the past five years “with significant numbers” involved property theft and domestic violence, Womack said.
One of the draft plan’s goals is improved public safety, which involves strategies to add “more eyes and ears” in the area, he said.
“Therefore, a strategy is to commence a Citizen Observer Patrol (COP) program in the Dunnavant Valley similar to the successful program that Chelsea has had since 1999. The program puts uniformed volunteers with radios/phones in the neighborhoods and communities in addition to the one or two patrol deputies patrolling each beat during a particular time,” he said.
“Another strategy is to establish/enhance neighborhood watch programs which are another eyes-and-ears layer, while another strategy involves targeting domestic violence education and prevention programs in the valley,” he said.
The plan also points to long-term strategies for creation of a regional park and a Dunnavant Valley Attendance Zone within the Shelby County School District.
“An issue from the first Community Workshop had the desire for a middle school being built in the Dunnavant Valley. After researching enrollment data of the Shelby County Schools attendance zones, the Chelsea Attendance Zone – where Dunnavant Valley residents attend – had the second highest behind the Oak Mountain Attendance Zone if only looking at those attendance zones that will remain in the Shelby County School System in the 2013-2014 school year,” Womack said.
“Growth will continue not only in the Dunnavant Valley but Chelsea as well and subsequent enrollment numbers will continue to increase. On top of just the growth issue is the formation – actual or potential – of city school systems that transpired during our work on the plan, and the big what-if with Chelsea when all but one county school in the Chelsea Attendance Zone is situated within the Chelsea city limits,” he said.
The plan also takes into account the public’s concern over preservation of ridges in the valley. The plan suggests the creation of a Coosa Ridges Overlay District that would cover zoned areas in Dunnavant Valley. “Such a district would include additional restrictions along the ridges in areas where the ridges are still undisturbed,” Womack said.
Another possibility is state legislation authorizing the Shelby County Commission to regulate wind-generated energy production facilities in the county’s unincorporated areas. The bill would be similar to one enacted in Baldwin County this year, Womack said.
“Wind turbines are planned to be placed on ridges north of Shelby County in Etowah and Cherokee counties, just one county away. The northern area of the Dunnavant Valley is in an un-zoned area. Such a law would provide this area some ridge protections even without zoning,” he said.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding