Residents ask Huntsville City Planning Commission to deny developer request to subdivide land

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Dozens of Huntsville residents are asking the City Planning Commission to shoot down a developer’s plan to subdivide a lot of land. After a public hearing on the matter held Tuesday, the commission pushed the decision to July 14.

There are two clearly divided sides over what should happen to a plot of land in the Kirkwood Heights subdivision just south of Drake Avenue. The landowner and developer want to split it and build two homes, but neighbors are very against that. They want to uphold the current character of their neighborhood.

The new owner of the corner lot off Wingate Avenue and Hastings Road wants to divide the .42 acres in half and build two shotgun styles homes to sell.

“I see this as an opportunity to kickstart revitalization in a neighborhood that would improve with some investment,” says property owner and developer Trevor Cole.

More than 90 homeowners in the Kirkwood Heights community are publicly standing against the division of the land.

“I think the part we are just very concerned about is two houses on that lot just doesn’t seem reasonable,” says one neighbor.

Neighbors are fearful this would set a precedent for other lots to be divided in the future.

“They do not want subdivided shotgun houses to change the character of the Piedmont and Kirkwood neighborhood. It doesn’t exist there. If you allow it tonight it’s going to be allowed again and again,” says attorney Paul Killian.

The Huntsville City Planning Commission discussed the subdivision Tuesday night, noting the need for additional houses in Huntsville, while also highlighting the desires of the neighbors.

“There are still 90 people who have invested their lives in a neighborhood who are asking you even though it might be okay and legal, maybe it’s just not right,” said one of the commission members to the developer.

Legal representation for both the Kirkwood Heights homeowners and the investor brought up covenants and restrictions for the neighborhood also insinuating that depending on how the commission rules on the subdivision, legal action could be taken.

The committee decided to continue the vote to a July 14th meeting. It will be at 8 a.m. in the City Council Chambers.

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