Cahaba Heights residents continue to oppose mixed use development

Published: Oct. 25, 2015 at 2:00 AM CDT|Updated: Nov. 1, 2015 at 2:00 AM CDT
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VESTAVIA HILLS, AL (WBRC) - Cahaba Residents continue to oppose the construction of a mixed use development that will contain roughly 80 apartments, and now they are taking new steps to aid in their fight.

Over the last month they have formed the "Cahaba Heights Community Foundation," a non-profit group with the said purpose of "improving the quality of life of Cahaba Heights residents."

The foundation hosted a lemonade stand Saturday and brought in over $1,200 in donations in only 4 hours to help fight the proposed development.

They've also hired an attorney and posted yard signs all throughout the area that read "Not in our school yard."  The message alludes to to the major beef residents have with the new complex, that it is located next to the community's elementary school.

"We don't feel like a highly dense development is going to be the right neighbor for the school.  But we are in no way opposed to development.  We would love to see our community become the walkable village that we were promised in our master plan," said Abby Brady, the foundation's treasurer.

Vestavia Hills Schools superintendent Sheila Phillips also spoke out publicly against the development this week.

"To be clear, I have urged the city council not to approve this measure due to potential negative impacts related to property supervision, students who walk to and from school, impact on carpool lines, safety and security, and future campus design," said Phillips in a statement.

However the group proposing the development, BREC Development, has made concessions from their original plan.

"When I pulled my application last time I said I wanted to work with the community and that's what I've done," said Hydinger. "I've gone from 150 units to 81, so right off the bat that would double the amount of retail we had originally.  I've gotten rid of the parking deck. I mean, I've made major changes all due to community input," Developer Steven Hydinger told WBRC in September.

The Vestavia Hills city council will consider BREC Development's rezoning request during their Monday night meeting.  If they approve it, that would give the company the green light to move forward.

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