The Homewood City Council hears from Building, Engineering and Zoning employee Greg Cobb.
The city has funded a comprehensive study of Homewood's roadways to begin finding solutions to reroute traffic onto main thoroughfares instead of neighborhood streets.
At its Feb. 27 meeting, the city council funded $20,000, to be met with an $80,000 match by the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, for this study. They had previously considered using an APPLE (Advanced Planning, Programming and Logical Engineering) grant to study a more narrow area or set of roads, but felt this wouldn't be the right approach to solve their areas of concern.
“We continue to piecemeal everything together,” Ward 3 Representative Walter Jones said in a planning and development committee meeting before the main council met.
Mike Kaczorowski of the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham said the comprehensive traffic study should look at current patterns and creative solutions to make it inconvenient for cut-through traffic to use neighborhood roads instead of main roadways.
Ward 1 Representative Britt Thames said the comprehensive study will be used to identify problem areas where an APPLE study could dig deeper and produce specific solutions.
The project will take between six months and a year to get the necessary approvals before a contracted firm can begin work. Thames said he expects the study itself to take six to nine months.
The council also voted to move its March meetings to March 13 and 20, so they don't conflict with Homewood City Schools' spring break. Other upcoming events the council noted include a meeting of the bond issue task force to interview project managers, on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Rosewood Hall; a March 6 community meeting for Ward 1 residents at 6:30 p.m. at the Rec Center; and a Rosedale meet and greet tour, hosted by Rosedale resident Jeremy Love, on March 4, 3 p.m. at Spring Park.
The council also:
- Approved additional lighting on the roundabout near All Saints Episcopal Church.
- Accepted an ALDOT project for planning, resurfacing, widening, loop detectors, guardrail anchors and striping on Lakeshore Drive between U.S. 280 and Columbiana Road.
- Approved crosswalks at Malaga Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard.
- Partially approved a sign variance request for Floor & Decor, which is moving into the former Kmart at 230 Green Springs Highway. Floor & Decor requested additional signs on the front, side and rear of the building, but the council did not approve the rear sign due to plans to construct a 38-foot parapet to make the sign more visible. The front and side signs were approved and the owners can return with a new request for rear signage.
- Approved a sign variance request for Big Bad Breakfast to hang a blade sign at its new restaurant, 1920 29th Ave. S.
- Approved a fence ordinance variance for Shay Vail, at 123 Edgewood Boulevard.
- Approved Buck Malone to work in city right of way at 100 Green Springs Highway.
- Declared a 1999 Chevy Tahoe, a 2008 Ford F-250 and a 2000 Ford F-150 to be surplus property.
- Approved up to $35,000 for landscaping at the Servis1st property on 20th Street South.
- Approved a contract with Volatile Analysis for an odor mitigation study for West Homewood. It comes with the stipulation that Volatile Analysis will provide the city with industry standards to use in city ordinances.
- Approved a three-year audit contract with RiverTree Systems.
- Carried over discussion of authorizing a contract with Strada Professional Services to evaluate wetlands behind the Mason Corporation property on West Oxmoor Road, which the city acquired last year.
- Set a March 13 public hearing for sign ordinance variance requests at Valora at Homewood, 915 Valley Ridge Drive, and Caliber, 2822 Central Ave.
- Asked the public safety committee to consider crosswalks and streetlights in Rosedale.