Category Archives: City Council

New councilperson for Ward 1

New City Council representative Marcus Huskey

The Homewood City Council appointed Marcus Huskey to its Ward 1, Place 1 seat at a specially called June 3 meeting. He will be sworn in on June 11.

Huskey replaced Anthony Smith, who resigned from this position after he moved to a different ward earlier this year.

Huskey currently serves as Chief of Staff for Jefferson County Commissioner Joe Knight and is a student at Birmingham School of Law.

“He has a lot of knowledge of regional issues with his position with Jefferson County and brings his strengths with organizational skills and procedures, federal grants, and how rep governments should be,” said Hunter Payne, Ward 4, Place 1 representative.

A 2006 graduate of Samford University, Huskey worked for members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the White House in Washington, DC before moving back to a house on Dale Avenue in Ward 1 in 2010.

Huskey is the fourth councilperson to be appointed in the 2008 class. Elections for city council will be held August 28.

City’s plan for sidewalks in motion

By CRAIG KLEIMEYER

New city council measures will help maintain Homewood as Alabama’s most walkable city, as it was ranked according to Walk Score in 2011.

The Homewood City Council approved a list of nine areas for sidewalk building and repairs on April 23. The city has allocated $900,000 for new sidewalks and $100,000 for sidewalk repairs in its 2011-2012 capital improvements budget.

“There is money, and we want to move quickly on the sidewalk projects,” Ward 5 Representative Peter Wright said. “It’s what the residents specifically asked for.”
Four city wards will have two new sidewalk projects each. Ward 5 will receive about $100,000 to improve three existing sidewalks. Continue reading

City Council and Samford discuss joint park project

A sketch of a potential design for a joint Samford University-City of Homewood park.

By CRAIG KLEIMEYER

Samford University and the City of Homewood have begun plans for a new park to be built to the north of Samford’s campus.

In July 2011, the University proposed the joint park project and asked to meet with officials of the City of Homewood and interested area residents to develop a plan for a cooperative effort to build the park.

Before discussing the park design, such as the amenities, size and layout, the University and the Homewood City Council will determine how to establish, maintain, and operate the park in accordance with the law.

Samford Vice President for Operations and Planning Sarah C. Latham said that the partnership process has begun. Continue reading

Oxmoor Road improvements project underway

By CRAIG KLEIMEYER

West Homewood residents can look forward to reduced traffic and safety problems along Oxmoor Road. Survey and design work has begun for the city’s Oxmoor Road improvements project.

City residents can expect construction to begin in 2014 and last about 18 months, according to City Council member Fred Hawkins. The improvements will span about a mile, from Green Springs Avenue to Barber Court.

“While it’s under construction, there will be a little bit of bother temporarily, but when it’s built, traffic and safety will be a lot better,” Hawkins said. “The road will be better designed to accommodate the traffic.” The plan includes turn lanes and road realignments that will improve traffic flow. Continue reading

Ward 1 City Council position open

City Council Ward 1 Representative Anthony Smith

At last night’s council meeting, Ward 1 City Council representative Anthony Smith has announced his resignation effective Feb. 29 .

“It has been an honor and privilege to represent Ward 1 on the Homewood City Council for the past 7.5 years,” Smith wrote in an email.  “However, as most of you know, Shirley and I have been trying to sell our home for several months now.  Although we have not yet been able to do so, we went forward with our purchase of a new home last month that is located in Ward 4.  We have spent the past few weeks slowly transitioning to our new home.  While we have not yet completed that process, we are now closer to the end of it than we are to the beginning.”

Smith encouraged others in Ward 1 to apply for his vacancy. Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter to Linda Cook, the City Clerk, at Linda.Cook@homewoodal.org beginning March 1.

A ward map is available on the City of Homewood’s website.

New apartment complex to revitalize Valley Avenue

By KATIE STEWART

A $15.5 million upscale apartment project plans to spark redevelopment at Valley Avenue and connect Vulcan Park with downtown Homewood.
The 135-unit apartment complex will replace outdated units in hopes of revamping the area.

“The homes currently in existence are older and cannot truly be upgraded,” said Sam Scott, Ward 1, Place 2 council member. “This new complex will put a positive spin on the area because it will create activity, which will breed interest, which is great as a whole for the Homewood area.”

The yet-to-be-named development is a joint effort by Landology and The Dobbins Group. It will mainly offer one- and two-bedroom apartments, with some three bedrooms. Rents will range from $875 to $1,400 per month. Continue reading

Lakeshore property rezoned for Samford University

By MADOLINE MARKHAM

Save Our Neighborhoods Sign

A sign in a yard on Hollywood Boulevard encouraged neighbors to attend the July 25 city council meeting for the vote on rezoning property owned by Samford University. Photo by Madoline Markham.

Ten residential lots, including seven homes, on Lakeshore Drive between Samford University and Odum Lane have been rezoned as institutional property. Samford owned the land and requested the rezoning as a part of their master plan for the campus to build more dorms and parking.

Council members and residents remain divided on whether this outcome is best for the surrounding neighborhood, but regardless of opinion, the final decision was a compromise between Samford and Homewood.

“Not one single person was 100 percent satisfied,” Council President Allyn Holladay said. “That testifies to how much of a compromise it was.”

Many residents were in opposition to the rezoning because they feared it would hurt the surrounding neighborhood and property values; they also complained that Samford was not forthcoming about their plans. On July 7, about 50 Homewood residents gathered for a meeting in opposition to the rezoning request. Continue reading