The Moncrief Road battle and Bill Noble Park. Big Week Ahead.

A city is always stronger when its citizens care about the community and are active in the local political process. Democracy in action.

Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen this play out in Gardendale as the residents on and around Moncrief Road mobilized over their concerns for a proposed townhome development on an approximately 9 acre tract that fronts Moncrief Road.

The residents were able to get coverage on Birmingham area TV station WVTM. According to their reporting there would be 18 units and the starting price would be about $275,000 a unit.

Gardendale is particular in how these types of new developments are built. There is strict planning involved. As the rendering showed under WVTMs reporting, they look like they would nicely enhance the aesthetic beauty of the area. I can only imagine how a family or single mom would covet being in that close proximity to what is about to debut as a first class Bill Noble Park.

Isn’t that what Bill Noble Park was supposed to do…attract investment in North Gardendale?

Why build the so called “Gardendale Medical Mile” if that doesn’t just attract medical offices, but also helps grow the population? Do nurses and doctors who work here, don’t want a house but would like to be close to their office not be excellent candidates for a $275k townhome around a first class park facility so they can jog or walk their dogs?

Shouldn’t Gardendale encourage young professionals, for example, to move here and provide them with the type of housing they want?

I say this humbly, but you would have to have a pretty good income to buy a $275k townhome.

Not everybody wants to live in an apartment or a house.

Of course, neither party is in the wrong here.

I truly applaud the residents for utilizing their right to come together and ask that any development be blocked in and around their neighborhood. It is an example of what makes America great.

I also applaud the developer and any investor who looks to Gardendale and sees a need that can be filled and commits to investing hard earned money into the community. Capitalism and investment are part of what America great.

That 9 acre tract has gone undeveloped. Is it not reasonable to assume that what has made it so attractive now is that it is right down from what will be a first class park?

In other words, it may not be as attractive as an investment to a developer in another area of town. The close proximity to the park is attractive, both to an investor and a buyer.

So Bill Noble Park is already delivering on what it was intended to do…entice investors to actually invest in Gardendale.

Tonight, we get the first look at the issue arising before the Gardendale City Council as the Moncrief Road group will surely be well represented at the meeting. This will be followed up by the Gardendale Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting on February 9th.

It’s a big week for the local political process.

This is an interesting and early look of what contention may be to come in the North Gardendale area with the opening of Bill Noble Park.

My gut tells me the Moncrief Road folks are going to win this early battle as to this development.

The blueprint used by the good folks in the Moncrief Road group may be utilized by others as future potential development arises.

Gardendale can’t grow without an influx of people and providing a mix of different types of housing is necessary and important. Close proximity to a first class park and facility help attract investors and make the development desirable to both investors and buyers. Bill Noble Park is the catalyst for the investment.

The time to block the potential for massive development in North Gardendale was before construction began on Bill Noble Park, not after.

Now, the change is inevitable. The battle over the change may have only just begun.

Investors look for opportunities where they see the optimal return on their investment. Take that away from them and they take their money to another city.

Selling a plan and vision for the development of North Gardendale may be the most important thing the Mayor and City Council can do over the coming weeks.