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Ever since Avondale Brewery opened, Birmingham has really sprung back – our city even plays host to a blog celebrating this, Comeback Town! As more and more people find that they want to live in our city, it’s important to ask the question, “how much will our cost of living increase?” Thanks to a rezoning effort in north Birmingham, housing could stay affordable, and our community could grow even more!
So what’s actually happening?
According to the May 30th city council agenda, the ordinance changes “zone district boundaries for all properties in the North Birmingham Community.” Those neighborhoods include Collegeville, Pratt City, Hooper City, Harriman Park, Fairmont, Acipco-Finley, and North Birmingham. This Tuesday, the ordinance passed.
Limitations on what may or may not be rezoned concern residents, but haven’t dampened this victory. North Birmingham has experienced persistent problems with pollution. The rezoning only applies to properties without active occupants, so businesses already open remain unaffected. I speculate that as businesses either move or close, the city will rezone their former property.
AL.com suggests that the rezoning would open up land for housing and mixed-use developments (such as the Pizitz, which has both housing and retail), while reducing land available for heavy industry. What benefit does this bring? This rezoning effort is more than just an opportunity for relatively inexpensive housing. According to State Representative Mary Moore, “we want people to come back to north Birmingham.”
Whatever happens after this, it seems north Birmingham could compete for business and residents sooner than you thought!