Vault company's zoning request causes controversy

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's a business that's operated in Montgomery's Centennial Hill neighborhood for six decades, but now, the city says King Vault Company is operating outside of zoning laws.  The company occupies space between Smythe and Watts Streets off of Highland Avenue.

The company has asked the city planning commission to rezone some of its property to industrial, so it can comply with the law.  The request has caused controversy in the neighborhood.

Some agree with the City of Montgomery Planning Department, which said the request should be denied because the company's business is out of character with the neighborhood and conflicts with redevelopment plans.  Others in the neighborhood feel it should it should stay.

"Been here over 62 years, and never had a problem with no one," said Wanda White, who is among the people circulating petitions supporting the company.  "Before I (was) born.  Before you (were) born."

Laster King, Jr., the company's owner, said he's willing to compromise to keep the company in the neighborhood.  The City Planning Commission will consider the request at a public hearing on Thursday afternoon at 5:30 p.m.

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