The Five Points South Neighborhood Association will voice their opposition Thursday at City Hall in a zoning dispute that could leave several Five Points residents displaced. According to the neighborhood association president, Gary Bostany, a developer requested two variances from the Zoning Board of Adjustments (ZBA) to build a CVS drug store located at 1312-1324 & 1330 11th Ave South and 14th Street (see the proposed site plan). The problem is this would involve demolishing three apartment buildings, one even considered to be historic.
According to the new rules adopted by City Hall, the neighborhood associations are no longer obligated to advertise the variance requests in the monthly newsletter and vote on the them at the monthly neighborhood meeting. Bostany says the affected tenants weren’t even aware of the issue until he posted the information on the apartment buildings. “This is a tragedy for all the neighborhoods, remarks Bostany, because the neighborhood doesn’t have a lot of time to fully address the issue.”
The ZBA asked the Five Points Neighborhood Executive/Advisory Committee for a ruling on the variances, which they denied. A hearing on these requests will be held at 2 p.m. at Birmingham City Hall Council Chambers, third floor. Bostany plans to attend to speak on behalf of the residents. but he says the more people there to support the neighborhood association, the better the outcome could be. “There is a large, diverse population in these three apartments, Bostany comments, and it’s a shame these people didn’t know what was happening to them.”