- Associated Press - Sunday, June 4, 2017

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A large portion of north Birmingham will be rezoned to reduce pollution.

Properties in six neighborhoods will be rezoned the northern part of the city to revitalize the area, Al.com (https://bit.ly/2rfhUni) reported. An ordinance approved by the Birmingham City Council says some of the property zoned heavy industrial about 863 acres was rezoned light manufacturing.

Rep. Mary Moore says rezoning is one-step toward changing “the stigma that has been placed on north Birmingham.”

‘We are going to clean up north Birmingham,” Moore said. “We want people to come back to north Birmingham.”

The city wants to attract technology, research, biomedical and testing lab facilities.

Neighborhoods impacted by the rezoning are Acipco-Finley, Collegeville, Fairmont, Harriman Park, Hooper City and North Birmingham.

North Birmingham communities have been ravaged by pollution for more than 100 years due to heavy industry and rail lanes.

“This zoning plan that we have here, I feel like with this plan, we can correct some of the problems that we have now and encourage other businesses to come to north Birmingham,” said resident Anna Brown. “We are going to be here working with the city to enhance our neighborhood.”

While residents are pleased with the rezoning effort, some say pollution is still ongoing in the area.

Resident Catherine Evans said two recycling facilities are operating near residences in the Finley Avenue area.

“(One facility) is directly in my backdoor,” Evans said. “I can’t walk anymore. People are getting sick. We can’t breathe over there.”

Councilor Kim Rafferty said the city is unable to change the zoning of a business already in operation.

“Right now, we are trying to change the zoning to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” she said.


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