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City of Alabaster v. Shelby Land Partners, LLC, No. 1120677 (Ala. Jan. 24, 2014)

City of Alabaster v. Shelby Land Partners, LLC, No. 1120677 (Ala. Jan. 24, 2014)

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City of Alabaster v. Shelby Land Partners, LLC, No. 1120677 (Ala. Jan. 24, 2014)
City of Alabaster v. Shelby Land Partners, LLC, No. 1120677 (Ala. Jan. 24, 2014)

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Rel: 01/24/2014
 This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the advancesheets of
Southern Reporter
. Readers are requested to notify the
Reporter of Decisions
,Alabama Appellate Courts, 300 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery, Alabama 36104-3741 ((334)229-0649), of any typographical or other errors, in order that corrections may be madebefore the opinion is printed in
Southern Reporter
 OCTOBER TERM, 2013-2014 ________________________1120677 ________________________The City of Alabaster et al.v.Shelby Land Partners, LLC, and Alabaster Land Company, LLC Appeal from Shelby Circuit Court(CV-10-900144)
MAIN, Justice.This is a zoning case. Shelby Land Partners, LLC("Shelby Land"), and Alabaster Land Company, LLC ("AlabasterLand"), each own a 50% undivided interest in a 19.4-acreparcel of undeveloped real property located within the
11206772municipal limits of the City of Alabaster ("the City"). In2004, at the request of Shelby Land, the property was zoned asa "community business district," permitting only commercialuses. In 2009, Shelby Land petitioned the City to rezone theland to permit multifamily residential use in order to pursuethe development of a low-income apartment complex for seniorcitizens on the property. The Alabaster City Council ("theCity Council") denied Shelby Land's rezoning application.Shelby Land and Alabaster Land then brought this actionseeking relief from the denial of the rezoning request. Thetrial court entered a summary judgment in favor of Shelby Landand Alabaster Land and ordered the City and the City Councilto rezone the land to permit multifamily residentialdevelopment. The City and the members of the City Council,who were sued in their official capacities, appeal. Wereverse and remand.I. Facts & Procedural HistoryIn June 2003, the City adopted a community-renewal plan("the plan"). The plan called for redevelopment of more than300 acres of underdeveloped or undeveloped land near theintersection of Highway 31 and Interstate 65 at Exit 238 in
11206773Alabaster ("the project area"). The 19.4-acre parcel iswithin the project area. The plan noted that the older homes,mobile homes, and buildings existing in the project areaportrayed an image of decay and blight and expressed concernthat the blight might spread to adjoining residential areas.In addition to alleviating the perceived blight, the plansought to encourage commercial development at the project area"in order to increase employment opportunities, promote adiversified economy and expand the City's tax base." The planfurther sought to improve the safe and efficient flow oftraffic through and near the project area. Although the planindicated the potential for mixed-use development, includingresidential use, the plan stated that "it is projected thatthe entire Project Area is best suited for General BusinessDistrict development and it is the plan to redevelop theentire Project Area as a General Business District." Anattached "proposed land use map" indicated that the entireproject area would be zoned "B-3 General Business." The CityCouncil approved and adopted the plan on June 16, 2003.In furtherance of the plan, the City entered into aredevelopment agreement with Shelby Land. The City agreed

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