City Council discusses Cahaba Project demolition moratorium

TRUSSVILLE – The Trussville City Council on Tuesday, July 27 discussed a 120-day moratorium on home demolitions in the Cahaba Project.

Cahaba Homestead Heritage Foundation, Inc. President Amy Peterson O’Brien spoke to the city council at its workshop July 8 and read a statement to the city council July 27 outlining why a moratorium is needed. In part, the statement read, “Demolition of contributing resources within the Cahaba Homestead Village is a direct threat to the historic integrity of Trussville’s historic district.” O’Brien went on to say that the moratorium will “preserve the status quo of contributing resources in our historic district, thereby protecting its historic integrity, until we can present a comprehensive historic preservation ordinance for the consideration of the council.”

“Historic preservation is not about preventing change and growth,” O’Brien said. “It’s about managing change and growth. In a community this significant to the City of Trussville, having a plan for managing change is vital. The reputation of the City of Trussville is on the line.”

The City Council ultimately tabled a potential moratorium until a later to-be-determined date, likely at a special-called workshop. Residents will be notified of the meeting by the city, Mayor Buddy Choat said. Choat encouraged the City Council to plan a workshop as soon as possible to discuss the future of the historic neighborhood.

“It’s just not the right time to do it,” Choat said of a moratorium. 

The City Council agreed that a special-called workshop is the best way to move toward finding a way forward with the future of the historic area. Councilman Ben Short said he would not be opposed to a moratorium until that workshop, but ultimately the council decided to wait on any potential moratorium. Councilman Perry Cook said bringing out the knowledge of the history of the Cahaba Project and its benefits to the city is important.

“I think it’s something to protect,” he said.

The previous city council approved a 90-day moratorium on demolitions in February 2017 and a 21-day moratorium in October 2018.

Watch the discussion of the potential moratorium at the July 27, 2021 Trussville City Council workshop.

Published by Cahaba Heritage Homestead Foundation

Our mission is to support through education, outreach and civic involvement such things that promote, perpetuate and enhance the value of this community as a historic district designated on the National Register of Historic Places.

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