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RIVERSIDE — The Riverside City Council discussed the possible vacation of a road to make way for a development project.
During a meeting Monday otherwise scant on official business, the council heard from local developer Jeff Jones regarding a request to vacate Marina Street.
The road runs next to the former site of the Riverside Marina just off the U.S. Highway 78. Jones said he has plans to put a condominium development at the site of the former marina and needs the road vacated to allow him to seek plat approval for the development.
Councilman Jimmy Hollander said the only real issue he had with the idea was a small water line that runs along the road which could present an issue. He said he would like to make sure that the line doesn’t service the nearby hotel or any other location nearby.
Jones said he hadn’t intended to do anything with the line and instead connect directly to the water main at the highway. He also said he plan is to build near the lakeshore and set up an out parcel near the road to hopefully bring a business to.
“My intention is to have a retail, a restaurant or whatever I can find to put at the old gas station there,” Jones said.
He said he also plans to build a sewage treatment facility to service the property with the possibility of it being open for use by other entities if the city needs it.
“My intention is building maybe four times the size of what I currently need,” Jones said.
While the council did not approve Jones’ request during the meeting, the council did seem receptive to the development project.
Hollander said he thought the sewage treatment plant being open to other possible developments was a wonderful idea.
“If you did that and got a permit then you could go ahead … and have it to where you could end up enticing more business to come,” the councilman said. “If there would be anything we could do to help you we’d love to.”
Mayor Rusty Jessup said Marina Street has not been maintained for many years.
“It serves no purpose at this time,” he said.
The mayor said despite that the road does currently belong to the citizens of Riverside and cannot be vacated without proper procedure.
“We have to be determined and convinced that giving this private entity this property is better for everybody in Riverside than what it’s doing right now or will ever be,” Jessup said following the meeting. “I personally think that’s probably going to be the case here but there’s still a lot to look at.”
He said that Alabama law does require street vacations to go through one or two public hearings which must be noticed in a news publication of record for the county prior to when they are held. Jessup said the city attorney is developing a full procedure for the council to look over regarding the matter, but it was not yet Monday night.
In other matters the council:
—Approved the city’s 2022 holiday schedule;
—Approved moving the council’s second regular meeting in January from Jan. 17-24 for the observance of Martin Luther King Junior Day; and
—Reminded residents that city hall will be closed Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 in observance of Christmas Eve and New Years respectively and that the council’s first meeting in January will be on Jan. 11.
Taylor Mitchell is a Daily Home reporter covering Pell City.