Plans for north Tuscaloosa apartment complex met with concern


People living in one Tuscaloosa neighborhood are worried about plans for a large-scale apartment complex and what it could do to their property and community. They are fighting the development.

City leaders held one packed public meeting in November.

People living in the Gaineswood neighborhood on Rice Mine Road said they are not against development. One person said she would be okay with single-family homes on the property.

A master planning survey showed 70% of people working in the City of Tuscaloosa commute from outside. It's why Allied Realty Developer Clayton Hudson hopes to annex nine acres of County property for an apartment complex.

Hudson said the apartment complex would be comprised of 170 units, and would be an essential part of the housing product that Tuscaloosa is missing.

Bart Tingle lives in the neighborhood nearby.

"We're perfectly happy with development, it's just particular types of development we are concerned about," Tingle said.

Tingle listed a few reasons why neighbors were not thrilled with the idea.

Traffic on Rice Mine road is already too heavy, Tingle said. Homeowners also worried about the impact on infrastructure and the school system. The City's last master plan did not allow multi-family housing in the area.

"That's really all we are asking, is follow the city's guidelines that are already there," Tingle said, "The multi-family idea is what is objectionable with us. It's a density issue, you're putting a lot of people on a small amount of property and that is what we don't want to see."

City Planning Director Ashley Crites said the commission is taking public comment into serious consideration.

"It's critical to know what the neighbors want, what people living in the community want to see in that area, and also what the plan says for the area as well," Crites said.

The Planning and Zoning Commission will host a public hearing Monday, December 17th at 5 p.m. at City Hall. The commission will make a recommendation on the project to the council.

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