Leeds passes controversial home construction ordinance

By Emily Luxen

LEEDS, AL (WBRC) -  In a 4-2 vote, Leeds City Council approved a controversial zoning ordinance that will restrict the size of future homes built in the city.

The ordinance will limit new home construction in the city to a minimum 1,500 square feet.

More than 300 residents packed into the Civic Center to listen to councilors debate the issue. Tempers flared throughout the meeting. Mayor Eric Patterson removed one resident from the meeting after she interrupted city councilors. Other residents stormed out of the room after the vote.

Residents believe it isn't fair to low income people who can't afford a 1,500 square foot home, and  that will limit the number of people who want to move to the city.

"Leeds is trying to grow, but if you start doing that stuff, it won't grow," said Willard Perry. "People will not come to this area because of ordinance they are trying to pass."

"We've got to think about our poor people and our middle class people," said Charcey Glenn. "Everybody can't afford a lot of land and a big house.  As long as the house accomodates your family, then I don't think there should be anything against that."

Mayor Patterson said the ordinance doesn't change any current zoning. He also clarified that in the case of a disaster, homeowners can rebuild their home at it's current size or smaller.

Mayor Patterson said even though the council voted on the ordinance, they still have the opportunity to make changes or revisions by passing amendments.

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