What do an urban geographer (Dr. Stephen Higley), a planning consultant to municipalities and developers (Nathan Norris), and an authority on watershed issues (Beth Stewart) have in common? They have all been speakers at meetings of Citizens For Montevallo, an organization dedicated to helping city leaders and citizens identify and solve problems facing the Montevallo community.
At present, the group is studying issues posed by unplanned-for growth in south Shelby County, including the impact on local public schools, highways and streets, police and fire protection, parks, the sewer system, our water supply, our watershed, and life and business in general. Each of these issues involves additional expenses for the City and its citizens, and each calls for careful planning from municipal authorities, with input from citizens, to see that developers do not make excessive profits while citizens foot the bills.
At the December 12, 2005 meeting of the Montevallo City Council, the Citizens For Montevallo presented petitions with 405 signatures asking that the City Council and the Planning and Zoning Board approve no residential rezoning and no plats for residential construction that involve more than three homes until the goals of the moratorium are achieved. The Council defeated by a 3-3 vote the motion to declare a new 120-day moratorium, which Council member Becky Cox-Rodgers argued was necessary since the goal of the original moratorium--gathering and compiling information, receiving public input, and completing a written development plan-- is far from being achieved. Joining Cox-Rodgers in voting for the new moratorium were Council members Hollie Cost and Greg Pendleton. Voting against the motion were Council members Dana Byrd and Willie Goldsmith and Mayor Sharon Anderson.
In January, Citizens For Montevallo presented additional petitions to City Council, bringing the total as of January 26, 2006 to 445.
In 2006, Citizens For Montevallo will sponsor more educational programs that, like the previous ones, will be free and open to the public. Every civic-minded citizen is encouraged to attend. Members of Citizens For Montevallo will continue to attend City Council meetings and meetings of City boards, including the Planning and Zoning Board and the Water & Sewer Board. By doing so, they will be better able to provide input to City leaders and promote communication and problem solving within the Montevallo community.
To be added to the Citizens for Montevallo e-mail list, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.