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kayman

Redevelopment bureaucratic mess

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Problem with authority

This week's Birmingham Weekly there is a long article discussing the need for an unified redevelopment agency that help Birmingham steer through the bureaucratic paperwork that seems to bogs down most of the area's developments. The article pointed to the fact that cities like Chattanooga, Greenville, Nashville, and even Charlotte seem to be on top of their game with redevelopment authorities speeding up their process to get things done.

There were numerous examples including the proposal for a major 300-unit mixed used residential development for the Civil Rights District by Herschell Hamilton that later moved it to Oxmoor area after being dragged down by the lack of organization to get things done. It also discussed how it took 3 years to finally get the 25 homes built in the Fountain Height neighborhood. Also it mentions how the Railroad Reserve Park, Red Mountain Park, the Greenways along Valley and Village Creeks as other examples of how the lack of an organized authority is hurting us.

Question and topic of discussion, what do you guys think we should do with our situation which seems to implead the plans for the region's redevelopment. Give your imput on what we should do.

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Thanks for posting the article, Leonard23. I had never heard of Main Street Birmingham before reading this -- I thought ONB was the only entity at work on such things.

I think Birmingham should set up an RDA with strong powers, including eminent domain. Maybe ONB and Main Street Birmingham could be combined to become the redevelopment authority. The duplication of effort and bureaucratic red tape that hinder development now need to end soon. A good RDA could go a long way to help make up for a weak mayor.

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Another voice has spoken up about the City's red tap involving developments and redevelopments. W.A. "Chip" Watts IV, owner and president of Watts Realty, discussed this very problem. He said that the city's footdragging and inefficient process involving design/review process, permitting process and inspection process has delayed tenant occupancy by at least 3 months has driven away a lot of interested parties. He said that the city seriously needs to rehabilitate its government when it comes to this process.

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