Ruffner Mountain, City of Irondale concerned after business buys property near trail head

IRONDALE, AL (WBRC) – A recent sale of property on Ruffner Road in Irondale threatens wildlife habitat and ecotourism, city officials and representatives of Ruffner Mountain say.

Ruffner Mountain is a non-profit nature preserve. It will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year.

“Everything that we’re focused on here at Ruffner Mountain really extends around wildlife habitats and improving our communities for the better,” said Carlee Sanford, Executive Director and Irondale resident.

“A few months ago we received some bad news,” said Sanford.

She learned that several acres of undeveloped property adjacent to one of the preserve’s trailheads sold to a local business, Marble and Granite Imports.

Sanford says she was told the business planned to relocate its headquarters next to the trailhead at 300 Ruffner Road.

“Construction is supposed to be happening, an industrial complex is supposed to be built, that does not align with any of the things that are important to us here are Ruffner,” Sanford said.

City officials are concerned too.

“It concerns me because when we look at the future plans of Irondale, our comprehensive plans state that Ruffner Road, Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, and that particular area is going to be key to get people to come to Irondale, stay in Irondale, and experience something different once they are here,” said Darryl Washington, Chair of the Irondale Commercial Development Authority.

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