VIDEO: Is Rainsville Open for Business?
January 18, 2018
Southern Torch (3431 articles)
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VIDEO: Is Rainsville Open for Business?

PHOTO: Trampas Shankles addresses the Public Hearing on a new subdivision he wants to build near Marshall Road.

By Marla Jones, Reporter

marla@southerntorch.com

RAINSVILLE, Ala. — (Video of the Workshop and Meeting at the Bottom) The Rainsville City Council met on Monday, January 15, 2018.   

Prior to the meeting, a public hearing was held to approve a rezoning request for property located on Marshall Road. The new property owner, Trampas Shankles, was seeking to have his 5 acre tract rezoned from agriculture to residential in order to subdivide it for new home construction. Shankles’ request was unanimously approved on November 27, 2017 by the Rainsville Zoning Board for the purpose of a new subdivision consisting of 5 lots on the 5 acre tract. The zoning board then sent the recommendation to the Council for final approval.  

At the public hearing adjacent property owners and Shankles were given the opportunity to address the Council to state their support or opposition to the Council giving final approval for the zoning change.

First, Trampas Shankles presented his plan for subdividing the property and spoke of his intention to reasonably accommodate some of the driveway requests by the adjacent property owners.

Summer Lingerfelt, an adjacent property owner and the daughter-in-law of Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt, spoke first and expressed concerns for increased traffic on Marshall Road and cited several accidents that occurred recently.

She stated that the reason her and her husband built on the adjacent road was due to the surrounding agricultural environment and preferred less houses around their own home.

Next, Amanda Westbrook, a local business owner on Marshall Road, stated the reason she moved her beauty shop to Marshall Road, was so she could watch her daughter play at her parents’ house across the street while she worked. She was at the meeting representing her parents, Junior and Mary Bobo.

Westbrook stated her primary issue was for safety concerns because more houses on the road would lead to more traffic.  She also stated that the adjacent property owners would not know who would be living in the new proposed houses and the new home owners could turn out to be drug dealers or sexual predators.

Finally, zoning board member, Skeeter Logan explained the zoning board’s process of review in the November meeting.  He also explained that all members were present and unanimously voted in the affirmative for approval of the proposed subdivision plan.   

The zoning for the 5 acre tract was given final approval by the Council with a 4-2 vote.  Councilmember Brandon Freeman and Mayor Lingerfelt opposed the plan.  Shankles plans to start building homes on the property by spring of this year.

On Tuesday morning, Southern Torch reached out for comments regarding the zoning meeting.  

Amanda Westbrook declined to comment and Summer Lingerfelt could not be reached.

Shankles stated: “The City of Rainsville and the way it’s set up, makes it real hard  to do business because of the zoning.  Before we bought the property, I went to look at the zoning map at city hall and the property behind this property, which is a subdivision, was zoned agricultural so I thought I wouldn’t have to do anything.”

Shankles added, “After we purchased the property, I again went to city hall and asked what I needed to do, and was told that I would have to have it (the 5 acre tract) rezoned.  I asked them why the other subdivision had never been zoned residential and they said that was in a previous administration and they had nothing to do with that.  I guess,  we will have to do this everytime we buy property in Rainsville to be sure we comply with their zoning ordinances.”

Mayor Lingerfelt stated, “It is just one of those things we have got to go through as a City. Because we have  zoning laws, some communities do not have zoning laws.  It’s usually always a pretty hot topic, when you are fooling with someone’s property or adjacent property. It went down to a vote and that’s all I have to say about that.”

Southern Torch also reached out to the Council for their thoughts.

Councilmember Freeman, the Council liaison to the zoning board, voted no. Freeman stated, “I thought it went well, it was handled in a business manner.  Some agreed and some disagreed.  We will be moving on to the next issue.”

Councilmember Marshall Stiefel, voted in favor of the rezoning request and the plan for the new subdivision on Marshall Road.  He added, “I am discouraged that our own city government regulations and red tape are negatively affecting small business and and growth in Rainsville.”

Stiefel also stated, ”I was shocked that (Councilmember) Freeman did not back the (zoning) board recommendation, considering he was the liaison to that board and that the Mayor had voted on an issue that involved some of his family members.  But today, the little guy won and overcome the city’s red tape.”

Other Items approved by the Council:

  • Authorized the Mayor to sign Pyrotechnic contract. 
  • Approved a plan for Kevin Keller to build a stage at the Field of Dreams for $32,000.00. Councilmember Ricky Byrum voted no. The Mayor and Freeman stated this proposal. would be best so the City could avoid the state bid law which requires projects over $50,000.00 to be bid out through public advertisements.
  • Authorized the Mayor to seek financing in the amount of $229,039.40 for a new sanitation truck.
  • Awarded a bid for a utility vehicle for the Wastewater Treatment Plant in the amount of $17,335,00 to DeKalb Coop. This will be paid with grant money.
  • Approved the purchase of new computer for the Tom Bevill Enrichment Center up to $1,000.00.

The next regular Council Meeting will be February 5, 2018. Workshop starts at 4:15 and regular meeting will be held at 5:00 p.m.

Watch Video of the Workshop: 

Watch Video of the Meeting: 

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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