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City of Helena battling Pelham Board of Education over use of property

Pelham-Helena land battle
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 8:04 PM CDT
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HELENA, Ala. (WBRC) - The Pelham Board of Education is working to build athletic fields, add parking and make improvements to Pelham High School. The issue is, almost all of this would be done on property that resides in Helena. The two sides are now working to resolve the issue in court.

It’s a tricky web that the court system is working to untangle, but the basic issue or question is whether the Pelham Board of Education can move forward with the project. The city of Helena contends that since the property resides in Helena, that the city’s zoning process should be followed for approval and permitting.

The property is currently zoned for single family residential, which obviously wouldn’t allow the board to make additional improvements given their current plan.

The Pelham Board of Education is arguing that under Alabama case law, a board of education engaging in a governmental function is not subject to city zoning ordinances.

While the Pelham board purchased the property from the First Bank of Alabama back on June 29, 2021 for $468,000, its future is still very much in doubt.

Someone with knowledge of the case said it could be days, weeks or months before a ruling is made.

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