Homewood City Council Greenlights Piggly Wiggly: Store Amidst Controversy

Homewood City Council Greenlights Piggly Wiggly: In a unanimous vote of 10-0, the Homewood City Council approved the rezoning of property on Courtney Drive, paving the way for a new Piggly Wiggly store. However, the development plan faced a narrower vote of 6-4, with contention centered around the location of the grocery’s loading dock.

The primary point of disagreement was the loading dock’s placement, with neighbors advocating for the north end of the building, while the developer insisted on the south end. Store owner Andy Virciglio proposed hiring a flagman to manage traffic during deliveries, a plan criticized as “unsustainable” by Councilwoman Melanie Geer. Developer Murray Legg defended the south-end location, citing the refusal of CVS drugstore to relocate.

Despite concerns, the majority of council members favored the development plan, emphasizing the need for increased storage space in the larger Piggly Wiggly store, leading to fewer deliveries.

While the Piggly Wiggly project stirred some debate, the focal point of the meeting became the rezoning of Second Presbyterian Church on Columbiana Road. More than 25 individuals expressed their opinions during the three-hour session, extending beyond the anticipated duration.

The church, facing financial challenges, plans to merge with Edgewood Presbyterian and sell its property. Developer Eric Rogers submitted the highest bid to construct a 20,125-square-foot medical office building. Many speakers supported the continuation of ABC Child Care, housed in the building, though not directly relevant to the zoning decision.

Homewood City Council Greenlights Piggly Wiggly

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Despite the extensive public discourse, the lawyer representing the applicant requested a holdover of the matter to the next council meeting. Council President Alex Wyatt clarified that the city’s involvement is limited to zoning and land use decisions, not the identity of the buyer or tenant. Wyatt noted that holding over the discussion indicated the applicant’s willingness to explore resolutions based on public input.

In other actions, the council accepted bids for paving and drainage projects, approved changes to credit card purchasing policies, and set dates for various projects and public hearings. Additionally, the amended development plan for Fast Pace Urgent Care was approved, and criteria for events impacting street flow were established. The council also authorized the mayor to sign a facilities use agreement for a movie production company.

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