The rezoning of a property in the Druid Hills neighborhood mired the Birmingham City Council in a two-hour debate Tuesday.
BirminghamWatch reports that the requested rezoning would have changed a single-family residential house into a mixed-use property. The applicant, Wayman Newton, said he wanted to renovate the house and operate his legal practice out of it.
But the council disagreed on the potential impact the zoning could have on the character of the neighborhood, with opponents warning that the rezoning could have unintended consequences if Newton decided to sell the property. Proponents, such as District 9 Councilor John Hilliard, argued that the rezoning would be invaluable to revitalizing the neighborhood, which has been afflicted with blight.
The meeting eventually devolved into a chaotic debate, which Council President Valerie Abbott later called “the worst council meeting I’ve ever sat through.”
The rezoning measure passed.