Frequently Asked Questions

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> Business & Taxes
> Employment
> Engineering
> Government
> Library in the Forest
> Permits & Licenses
> Public Safety
> Sanitation
> Zoning
> Miscellaneous


Business & Taxes

  • How do I file sales and use taxes? Sales and use taxes are collected through Avenu Insights. Information concerning the filing of Sales and Use taxes can be obtained online at https://revds.com or by contacting Cortez Rice at crice@vhal.org or 205.978.0157.
  • When are taxes due? All taxes, such as sales tax, liquor tax and wine tax are due on or before the 20th day of the month following the month in which the tax accrues.
  • What are the current sales and use taxes in Vestavia Hills? Effective June 1, 2018, the current sales tax in the City of Vestavia Hills is 10%.
  • When and how do I obtain a City of Vestavia Hills business license? The Business License Application, and Fee Schedule, are available at https://vhal.org/departments/finance/business-licenses-sales-tax. If additional assistance is needed, contact Cortez Rice at crice@vhal.org or 205.978.0157. PLEASE NOTE: Contractors, subcontractors, commercial landscapers, etc., should obtain license applications from the Building Safety department or via the Online Services portal at https://vestaviahillsal.portal.opengov.com.
  • How often do I need to renew my Vestavia Hills business license? Business licenses shall be renewed annually on or before the 31st day of January each year. For further information, please refer to the current Vestavia Hills Business License Ordinance available at https://vhal.org/departments/finance/business-licenses-sales-tax.
  •  I want to open a restaurant in the City of Vestavia Hills. How to I submit application for an alcohol license? Alcohol license application must first be made to the State of Alabama ABC Enforcement Division located at 211 Summit Parkway, Homewood, AL 35209; 205.942.7955. All alcohol license within Vestavia Hills must also be presented to the Vestavia Hills City Council for final determination to grant or deny an alcohol license. Contact the City Clerk at rleavings@vhal.org to determine next steps, including the completion of background forms to be presented and investigated by the City’s Police Department. Please note that approvals for alcohol licenses generally require a minimum of 6-8 weeks for approval.
  • What is the ad valorem millage rate for real property located within the City of Vestavia Hills and how can the property tax be computed? Jefferson County is responsible for assessing and collecting ad valorem taxes for real and personal property in the City of Vestavia Hills. You may pay your ad valorem taxes online. To learn more about Jefferson County services or to pay your property taxes, visit the JeffCo website. Questions regarding tax assessment should be directed to:
    Tax Assessor: Courthouse Suite 170, 716 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N, Birmingham, AL 35203; 205.325.5505
    Tax Collector: Room 160 Courthouse, 716 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N, Birmingham, AL 35203; 205.325.5500Ad valorem taxes are calculated based on the current millage rate. Following is an example of the computation of annual tax on an owner-occupied home, located within the corporate limits of Vestavia Hills. This example assumes:
    – Example using a millage rate of 0.0926 ($92.60 for each $1,000 of the assessed property value).
    – Fair Market Value of the home is $100,000
    – Current “Assessed Value” equals 10% of Fair Market ValueThe Assessed Value: $100,000 × 0.1 = $10,000; therefore, Total Tax Due: ($10,000/1000) x 92.6 = $926*
    *To this amount a Storm Water Fee is added. From this amount, the Homestead Exemption will be deducted, if the homeowner is eligible and has applied for the exemption.

Employment

  • How do I file an application for employment with the City of Vestavia Hills, including Fire and Police departments? The City of Vestavia Hills is an equal opportunity employer. Employees are categorized as classified (police, fire, EMS services and administrative positions) or non-classified (maintenance, laborer or library page). Applicants must make application through the Jefferson County Personnel Board. The City typically hires exclusively from the certification listings provided by the Personnel Board. To view the listing of available positions, CLICK HERE to visit our employment page, or contact the Personnel Board online at https://www.pbjcal.org or call 205.325.5515.

Engineering

  • How do I know if my property is located in a flood zone? Call the City Engineering Department at 205.978.0150. We will perform a search based on the address of your property and provide you with any applicable documentation that has been provided by FEMA. Be advised that the City of Vestavia Hills does not provide elevation certificates or perform land surveying for this purpose. If needed, it is the responsibility of the property owner to contract with an independent land surveyor to provide this service.
  • What is the process for constructing a new driveway or repairing an existing driveway? A Driveway Permit is required for all new driveway construction. Any repairs to existing driveways need to be coordinated with the City Engineering Department to determine permitting and inspection requirements.
  • What materials are considered illegal to dump into a storm drain or system? It is illegal to dump trash, leaves, yard clippings, oil, paint or any other item into any storm system, whether that system be an inlet or an open ditch. Eventually all storm systems dump into a stream or a creek. If you see a person or company illegally dumping any item into a storm drain or ditch, call 205.978.0140 or use Vestavia Hills Connect to report it. You do not have to leave your name or number if you do not wish to. Be prepared to give us the location of the storm system being illegally dumped into, and the Engineering Department will respond.
  • What is public right-of-way? Simply put, the public right-of-way is property that has been dedicated for public use. A typical roadway right-of-way is 50’, typically estimated to be 25’ from the roadway centerline although in some cases the roadway does not lie within the center of the roadway. The most accurate way to determine where the public right-of-way begins is to have a surveyor locate your property pins/markers along your property.
  • What does the City maintain within the public right-of-way, and what is my responsibility as homeowner? The City maintains all components of the roadway system within the right-of-way. This includes asphalt, curbing, gutters, sidewalks, and storm drainage structures (within the right-of-way). All landscaped areas behind the curb/pavement or between the curb/pavement and the sidewalks should be maintained by the abutting property owner. This includes maintenance of trees and shrubbery to prevent sight line obstructions.
  • Where should I locate my mailbox and what materials can I use? The City does not have any policy or regulations related to installation of mailboxes on local streets. With that said, only mailboxes with break-away posts are encouraged within the roadway right-of-way. Rigid objects close to the roadway can become hazards for vehicles that may leave the pavement. Break-away posts are designed and constructed to break upon impact. This protects drivers that may veer from the road and eliminates any potential risk for you should an accident occur. Any mailbox construction/installation on a state roadway or County Through Road are subject to state or County regulations. Any questions related to mailboxes along those roadways should be routed to either ALDOT or Jefferson County. A list of those roadways can be provided, if needed.
  • What drainage inlets, pipes, open ditches, etc. does the City maintain? The City maintains all drainage inlets, pipes and culverts within the public right-of-way. A typical roadway right-of-way is 50’, typically estimated to be 25’ from the roadway centerline although in some cases the roadway does not lie within the center of the roadway. All drainage inlets, pipes and culverts outside of the right-of-way are the responsibility of the homeowner. Citizens can help maintain a well-functioning drainage system by mowing vegetation in ditches and keeping all debris, including leaves and grass clippings, out of the ditches and storm drains. It is detrimental to the function of the drainage system to intentionally dump leaves, grass clippings, litter and other debris into ditches. Open ditches with maintained grass are preferred in order to provide erosion protection as well as a natural filtration system. Tree saplings and overgrowth are only removed from ditch banks by public works crews when warranted for access due to maintenance needs, or if drainage flow is obstructed. Any routine trimming of grass and vegetation in any ditch is the responsibility of the property owner.

Government

  • What are the Council Places? There are four Places on the Vestavia Hills City Council in addition to the Mayor. These “places” designate seats only; they are not tied to any geographic area, as the Mayor and City Council are elected at large.
  • When are Council members elected? Members of the Vestavia Hills City Council are elected for four-year terms on the fourth Tuesday of August for terms beginning November 1 of that year.
  • How can I view minutes of a Council meeting? The minutes of the previous meeting are included with the agenda for the upcoming meeting. Agendas are available online at https://vhal.org/government/agendas.
  • Who is the City Manger? Jeff Downes is the City Manager for the City of Vestavia Hills. For more information about Jeff, visit https://vhal.org/government/city-leadership-2.
  • Who is the Assistant City Manager? Cinnamon McCulley is the Assistant City Manager for the City of Vestavia Hills. For more information about Cinnamon, visit https://vhal.org/government/city-leadership-2.
  • Who are the current Mayor and City Councilor members? Ashley C. Curry currently serves as Mayor and President of the City Council. He is a voting member of the Council along with fellow elected officials, Mayor Pro Tem Rusty Weaver, Councilor Kimberly Cook, Councilor Paul Head and Councilor George Pierce. For more information about the elected officials for Vestavia Hills, visit https://vhal.org/government/city-leadership-2.

Library in the Forest

  • What is the address location of the Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest Public Library? 1221 Montgomery Highway, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216
  • What are the Library in the Forest’s hours of operation? The Library in the Forest is typically open Sunday, 1-5pm; Monday & Tuesday, 9am-8pm; and Wednesday-Saturday, 9am-6pm. Holiday hours are available online at https://vestavialibrary.org/hours-directions.
  • How can I check out library books or other materials? Materials may be checked-out in person or reserved online and picked up using curbside service. Digital resources are available 24/7 and are accessible from home using your library card. Visit the www.vestavialibrary.org home page for links to access eBooks, eAudiobooks, streaming movies, online databases and more.
  • I need help accessing digital library materials. For assistance accessing digital library materials, call 205.978.0155 during regular business hours.
  • Does the Library in the Forest have an app? Yes. The Vestavia Hills Public Library app is available for both Apple and Android devices. Download today to check your account, search the catalog, use your digital library card, renew items and get the latest recommended reads.
  • How do I apply for a library card? Visit https://vestavialibrary.org/library-membership for instructions to apply for a new library card or renew your existing library card.
  • Can my child get a library card? Yes. A parent or legal guardian must be present and both parent (or guardian) and child must sign the application and responsibility statement. The parent/legal guardian must show a driver’s license with current address or a form of government-issued ID and verification of current address (such as a piece of mail, lease agreement, checkbook, billing statement, etc.).
  • Where can I use my library card? You can use your library card at any Jefferson County Public Library.
  • How long will my card be valid and is it easy to renew? Library cards are valid for two years. When your card expires, you may renew it at any JCLC library by showing your driver’s license or other government issued photo ID and verification of current address.
  • How many items can I check out at a time? You may have a maximum of 150 items checked out on your card at a time.
  • Can I place a hold for materials to be picked up? Yes. Hold items are available for pickup utilizing Curbside Pickup or the remote lockers at Liberty Pharmacy. Be sure to reserve materials online or by calling 205.978.0155 ext. 2 at least 24 hours prior to pick-up.
  • Can I request materials from other libraries to pick up at the Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest? Yes. Materials from other JCLC libraries can be requested by patrons for pick up at the Library in the Forest. These requests can be made online (CLICK HERE) or in person.
  • How do I renew materials? Any non-digital item checked out at a JCLC location will be renewed automatically at the end of its lending period, with the following exceptions:
    – Another patron places a reserve on that item
    – The item has reached its maximum number of renewals (2 for most items)
    – Your account has accrued $5.01 or more in fines
    – If the item is not renewable
    – Your account activity has been blocked
    – The item is an eBook (digital item)

You may also renew items in person, online by visiting https://vulcan.bham.lib.al.us/patroninfo or by calling 205.226.3790 (anytime) or by calling 205.978.0155 during normal library hours. Be sure to have your library card available. All items can be renewed twice unless another patron has the item on hold. You will be notified by the courtesy email notice that your item has been automatically renewed. If you opted to not receive courtesy email notices, you will not be notified. You will be alerted with the standard notice, however, when the item is overdue.

  • Can I pay overdue fines online? Yes. Visit https://vulcan.bham.lib.al.us/screens/onlinepay.html to pay fines online.
  • What if I don’t have the money to pay my overdue fines? Turn in your overdue items anyway to prevent accruing even more fines. You can still check out items if your fines are $5 or less.
  • What if an item I checked out from the library gets damaged or lost? You are responsible for all items checked out on your card. Visit https://vestavialibrary.org/fees-fines to view overdue fines and replacement fees.
  • Is photography allowed at the Library? Casual amateur photography, filming, and videotaping is permitted in the lobby, outdoors and in program areas of the Library for patrons and visitors wanting a remembrance of their visit, provided that the photography does not distract, disturb or interfere in any way with Library patrons or operations, or capture any identifiable likenesses of individuals without their permission. No commercial, professional or media photography or filming may occur in Library facilities without the prior written permission and approval of Library Director or Deputy Director. Such approval shall contain the conditions under which the commercial/professional/media photography or filming will take place, and address the rights to ownership of the photos/films. Photographers must submit a Photography Request Form a minimum of 72 hours prior to the requested photography session date. The request will not be valid until official approval from Library Administration is received via email by the requester.

Community organizations hosting scheduled programs, events or meetings in the Library’s meeting rooms may arrange for their own photography or videotaping/recording of their event, provided that the photography or videography does not distract, disturb or interfere in any way with Library patrons or operations, or capture any identifiable likenesses of individuals without their permission. Such photography and videotaping is restricted to the space reserved by the group, and the group is responsible for any necessary releases and permissions.

Visit https://vestavialibrary.org/photography-and-videography-policy-with-guidelines to view the full photography policy for the Library in the Forest.

  • Can I register to vote at the Library? Yes, the library offers voter registration forms. You can complete and submit the form onsite or complete later and mail.
  • Can I donate books to the Library? Normal, yes. Donations will be reviewed by a librarian and either added to the library’s collection or given to the Friends of the Library Bookstore to be sold.
  • Does the Library have study rooms? The library has four study rooms available for patron use available on a first come, first served basis. Visit https://vestavialibrary.org/study-rooms for guidelines regarding study room usage.

Permits & Licenses

  • How do I renew my Contractor’s Business License with the City of Vestavia Hills? Be sure to have any State Cards and your driver license on hand prior to beginning the renewal process, as they will be required to renew your City of Vestavia Hills Business License.

Step 1: Visit the Online Services portal at https://vestaviahillsal.portal.opengov.com.
Step 2: Click the Building Safety tab to see a list of available permits and license applications.
Step 3: Click the “Select” button next to the permit or license you wish to submit. Applications are listed in alphabetical order – the Contractor’s Business License application is the 3rd from the top. Each application opens to a Welcome page containing a brief explanation of the form and its requirements. You may view this page prior to beginning your application.
Step 4: On the Welcome page of the selected license or permit, click “Apply Online.”
Step 5: If you are a returning user and have already created an account, enter your log in credentials (email address and password) and click “Log In.” If this is your first time using the online portal, click “Sign Up” below “Welcome to City of Vestavia Hills, AL” then enter your email address and a password. Be sure to retain your password, as you will need it to check the status of an existing application or to utilize the online system in the future. After entering your email address and creating a password, click “Sign Up” in the blue box.

  • How do I pay for my Contractor’s Business License? Upon submission of an online application, the Building Safety department is notified. Once approved by Building Safety department staff, an email will be sent to the applicant with a link to submit payment via the OpenGov online portal. You may pay online with a credit card or you may pay via cash or check in-person at the Building Safety department. Building Safety is open Monday through Friday from 7am to 4pm.
  • What type of work requires a permit?
    – Demolition of any structure
    – All new construction, including remodeling, additions, alterations, deck construction, re-roofing, irrigation systems, plumbing, gas, heating and cooling and electrical work
    – All commercial projects

The penalty for doing work without a permit is a doubling of the permit fee plus a $100 penalty.

  • What is required to apply for a permit? Construction permit applications may be submitted and paid online via the Vestavia Hills Online Services portal at https://vestaviahillsal.portal.opengov.com.

New residential construction: 
– Two sets of plans with detail sheets included (hard copy)
– CD with digital copy of the plans with detail sheets
– Approval from the Jefferson County Health Department (for septic system) or the Sewer Impact Fee Receipt (for sewer system; pink copy)
– Plot plan (to verify setbacks)
– Plot plan showing erosion control
– Payment of $100 Land Disturbing Application fee at time of submittal

Room additions:
– Two sets of plans with detail sheets included (hard copy)
– If adding plumbing fixtures and on sewer system, Sewer Impact Fee Receipt (pink copy)
– If on septic and adding bedrooms, approval from the Jefferson County Health Department
– Plot plan (to verify setbacks)

Deck:
– Two sets of plans with detail sheets included (hard copy)

Fence:
– Plot plan with exact fence location shown

Commercial renovations:
– Two sets of plans with detail sheets included (hard copy)
– If adding plumbing fixtures and on sewer system, Sewer Impact Fee Receipt (pink copy)

 New commercial construction:
– Two sets of plans with detail sheets included (hard copy)
– CD with digital copy of the plans with detail sheets
– Sewer Impact Fee Receipt (pink copy)
– Landscape plans
– Site plan showing erosion control
– Payment of $400 application fee for erosion control permit at time of submittal
– Payment of plan review fee. Cost varies depending on project – call 205.978.0147.

  • Do I need a permit for a fireworks display? Yes. Per Vestavia Hills Ordinance Number 56, “No person shall have, keep, store, use, manufacture, sell or handle any consumer fireworks within the city … The police chief may, upon due application, issue a permit to a properly qualified person for giving a pyrotechnic display of fireworks in the public parks or other open places within the city or the police jurisdiction thereof.”

Use of fireworks within the City limits requires:

(1) Approval from the Chief of the Vestavia Hills Police Department: Prior to applying for a business license or permit, contact VHPD at 205.978.0140 to request approval.
(2) Fireworks Permit from the Alabama State Fire Marshal: Following VHPD approval, apply for a permit from the Alabama Fire Marshal. The permit application is available online at https://www.firemarshal.alabama.gov/OnlineServices.aspxNote: This permit requires submission of a site plan, as well as proof of individual licensure and insurance.
(3) City of Vestavia Hills Business License: If approved and the date of the fireworks show is within 30 calendar days, the purchase of both a temporary City of Vestavia Hills license, as well as an annual license, is required. The Business License Application, and Fee Schedule, are available at https://vhal.org/departments/finance/business-licenses-sales-tax.

  • Do I need a permit for garage sales and yard sales? Yes. You may also obtain a permit in person through the Vestavia Hills Finance Department, Monday through Friday during normal business hours or submit an application online at https://vhal.org/departments/finance/garage-sale-yard-sale-permit. The cost is $5 and must be obtained prior to the sale. The permit may be used on an alternate date in the event of bad weather. For more information, call 205.978.0188.
  • Can I obtain car tags, automobile titles and driver’s licenses at City Hall? Vestavia Hills residents may renew their car tags and purchase new or transfer tags for cars and boats purchased from a dealer. For more information, visit https://vhal.org/departments/finance/vehicle-tags. Driver’s licenses may NOT be obtained at City Hall. A Jefferson County satellite revenue office is conveniently located on U.S. 31 in Hoover. That office may be reached at 205.497.8976.

Public Safety

  • How do I obtain a copy of a fire report or a medical transport report? Call Fire Administration at 205.978.0225
  •  My carbon monoxide detector/smoke detector is going off. What should I do? If your carbon monoxide detector goes off, the level of carbon monoxide has reached danger levels. This is a DEADLY gas that is odorless and colorless — it cannot be detected by human senses. Activate your emergency escape plan, then call 911. If your smoke detector goes off, activate your emergency escape plan, then call 911.
  • How can I arrange a tour of a fire station? Contact Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal Ryan Farrell at 205.978.0218 or rfarrell@vhal.org.
  • Where can I take CPR classes? Contact Battalion Chief Scott Ferrell at 205.978.0212 or sferrell@vhal.org.
  • How do I make an Escape Plan for my home or business? Make sure everyone knows at least two unobstructed ways out – doors and windows – of every room in your home. Decide on a meeting place outside where everyone will meet. For more information, visit https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Preparedness/Escape-planning.
  • How should I treat a burn? Cool a burn with water. Do not use ointments, butter or other substances. For serious burns, dial 911 immediately. For minor burns contact a physician.
  • How many smoke detectors do I need? Is it necessary to install one in every room? Install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home (including the basement) and outside each sleeping area. If you sleep with the door closed, install smoke alarms inside the room. In new homes, smoke alarms are required in all sleeping rooms, according to the National Fire Alarm Code. For more information, visit https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Safety-equipment/Smoke-alarms/Installing-and-maintaining-smoke-alarms.
  • Should homeowners sleep with their doors closed to protect themselves in the event of a home fire? A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. For the best protection, make sure all smoke alarms are interconnected. Due to the changes in construction and materials, you could have as little as 2 minutes to escape a home fire, compared to 7-8 minutes years ago. Smoke alarms can provide the crucial early warning that often has a significant impact on the outcome of home fires.
  • Why do I have to dial 911? Can’t I call the fire or police station directly to save time? The 911 emergency system is designed to save valuable time. When you dial 911, the system routes the police or fire unit that is closest to your home. Fire and police stations are not properly equipped to initiate a response for emergency calls. Therefore, calling a station directly actually wastes valuable response time.
  • What do firefighters do when they are not on calls? In addition to fighting fires, firefighters treat sick or injured people, report to car accidents, extricate people from damaged motor vehicles, technical rescue and assist at hazardous materials spills. When they are not on an active call, firefighters prepare written reports on emergency incidents, clean and maintain their equipment, participate in training exercises and do fitness training.

Sanitation

  • Who provides garbage collection service? Amwaste is the residential waste, recycling and bulk trash service provider for Vestavia Hills. (Businesses must contract with a waste collection agency of their choice.) The City’s Public Services department remains as the principal point of contact for requests and resolution of any issues – publicservices@vhal.org or 205.978.0150.
  • How much does garbage service cost? Sanitation (garbage and recycling) collection is a municipal service included in the payment of property taxes.
  • How do I start garbage service for an existing residence? If the previous owner left a garbage cart at the home, new owners may use the cart without any notification to the City or the sanitation provider. If the previous owner did not leave a cart, residents may request up to two carts for single family residences using Vestavia Hills Connect online or via the app. Requests for special collections, replacement carts, etc. may also be made through Vestavia Hills Connect.
  • How do I start garbage service for a new house / new residential construction or a newly annexed property? To begin service to newly constructed homes, homes constructed on newly developed streets or annexed homes, contact Public Services directly at publicservices@vhal.org or 205.978.0150 so that cart(s) may be delivered and the residence may be added to the sanitation route.
  • How do I start garbage service for my business? Businesses are not serviced as a part of the existing contract with the residential sanitation provider and must contract with a waste collection agency of their choice.
  • Where should I place my cart or debris? If the cart/debris pile is unable to be placed to meet the criteria below, contact Public Services at publicservices@vhal.org or 205.978.0150.

– Place cart at the curb by 6:30am on your collection days with the arrows on the lid pointing to the street.
– Place materials no more than 3’ from the curb and away from obstructions. Items placed further than 3’ from the curb will not be collected.
– Do not place carts on sidewalk; storm drain cover; gutter; steep slope; elevated platform; under low-hanging utility line/ other obstruction. (If there is a low utility line, enter a Line Issues request in VH Connect or call 205.978.0150)
– Do not place carts within 6’ of a fixed object (mailbox, hedges, parked vehicle, etc.).
– Note: Vehicles parked near a garbage cart may prevent collection.

  • What is back door service and how may I request the service? Residents may request back door service to have an Amwaste staff member collect garbage from a location near your home, generally near the “back door” of your residence. The collection days are the same as the regular curbside service for your location. This service is provided at no charge for residents with a medically certified need. Others who wish to have the service as a convenience may pay a monthly fee. To begin back door service, residents may submit a request using Vestavia Hills Connect or contact Public Services at publicservices@vhal.org or 205.978.0150. Residents who wish to have the service as a convenience may pay a monthly fee. For those with a certified medical need, the service is provided at no charge. A letter from the resident’s physician is required to verify medical need. Letters should be faxed to 205.978.0199 and must include the resident’s name, address and a statement that the service is needed for medical reasons.
  • Do I have to bag my garbage? When possible, garbage (including recyclables, which do not need to be separated) should be bagged to minimize litter during collection.
  • Where is a landfill? There is no landfill in the City of Vestavia Hills; our sanitation provider transports garbage to its privately-owned landfill.
  • What does the City sanitation service collect? Many of the less common items that residents wish to dispose of require special preparation or are items which the service does not collect. If you do not see your special item on the list below and are unsure of whether it can be placed for collection, contact Public Services at publicservices@vhal.org or 205.978.0150.

Items requiring special preparation:

– Paint: Wet paint should not be placed to the curb or in the cart for collection, as it is likely to spill onto the roadway. Discarded paint should be prepared for pick-up by filling the cans with kitty litter or sand, leaving the lid off. When it is dried, place it to the curb with the lid off.
– Glass and mirrors: Must be broken and placed in a cardboard box or wrapped well with paper and tape prior to collection.
– Light bulbs: Long fluorescent bulbs should be placed in a box and placed at the curb for collection. Compact fluorescent bulbs, high intensity discharge bulbs (HID), and light emitting diode (LED) bulbs are hazardous and should NOT be put into the cart or trash. Contact Home Depot, Lowe’s or Batteries Plus to inquire what bulbs they accept for recycling.
– Refrigerators: Refrigerated appliances require a Freon removal tag issued by a certified technician. Contact an appliance repair service to find a technician. Once the appliance has been tagged, secure the doors with tape before placing to the curb. Enter a bulk/debris request and indicate it is an appliance so that collection will be expedited.
– Grills: Ensure that all tanks have been removed and submit a bulk/debris request prior to placing to the curb.
– Gas cans: Do not put gas cans in the garbage cart. Prepared gas cans may be placed to the curb for trash collection. Gas cans are NOT accepted at the hazardous waste collection days. To prepare gas cans for trash collection, leave them open in a safe location away from heat, flames, or static electricity, and allow the gasoline to evaporate. Once the gasoline has evaporated, rinse the can thoroughly and again leave it to sit open to allow any remaining liquid to evaporate. Once prepared, leave at the curb with the lid open.
– Boxes: Must be broken down
– Packing materials: Must be bagged
– Mattresses: Submit a “Debris or Bulk Collection” request and note that the item is a mattress so that every effort may be made to expedite collection. Collection cannot be scheduled, so please have the item to the curb when the request is placed, and it will be collected within 3-4 business days. Mattresses must be placed at the curb; mattresses propped against a wall, mailbox, etc. will not be collected.
– Rolled carpet: Submit a “Debris or Bulk Collection” request for collection. Carpet must be placed at the curb for collection; carpet propped against a wall, mailbox, etc. will not be collected.

Items not collected:

– Propane tanks
– Televisions or microwaves: Local electronics retailers or private electronics recycling services may accept them.
– Landscape timbers or cross ties (railroad ties): These items contain creosote and are not accepted by landfills.
– Large amounts of construction debris
– Blocks, bricks, concrete, piles of dirt, tile, etc.
– More than household amounts of hazardous waste
– Car batteries; large car parts (engines, rotors, etc.)
– Needles
– Animal carcasses: For carcasses on private property, homeowners are responsible for bagging the carcass and placing it to the curb for pick-up. (The frontage of a residential yard or business is considered private property for this purpose.) Carcasses on the street are removed by our Public Services Department. Residents should submit a request for service via Vestavia Hills Connect.
– Medication: Solid medications (no liquids) may be dropped off at the Vestavia Hills Police department at City Hall or the substation in Cahaba Heights. For more information, call 205.978.0124. For liquid medications, contact your pharmacy for advisement on disposal.

  • How do I know my garbage days? Enter your home address at https:// amwaste.net/vestaviahills. Newly developed streets or newly created addresses may not be in the Trashbolt system. If your address is not in the database, contact Public Services at 205.978.0150 or publicservices@vhal.org.
  • When is garbage pick-up or waste collection? Waste is collected twice per week: Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday. Materials should be out by 6:30am on your service days. (Routes begin at 7am.) To verify your garbage collection days, visit https://amwaste.net/vestaviahills and enter your home address.

– Your first collection of the week should be household garbage and yard waste (small amounts of bagged leaves, pine straw, grass clippings, small limbs, etc.). Everything collected that day will be taken to the landfill.
– The second collection should include household garbage and recycling. (Yard waste should NOT be included in this collection.) Everything collected that day will be transported to RePower South as a “mixed stream” and sorted to separate recyclables from household waste. Unsure of the pick-up days at your address? Enter your home address at https:// amwaste.net/vestaviahills.

  • When is bulk and debris pickup? There is NOT a designated bulk trash pickup day. Submit a request for pickup of large piles of yard debris/ bulk trash in the VH Connect or call 205.978.0150. Bulk debris will be collected within 10 business days. If collection exceeds 10 days, contact Public Services at publicservices@vhal.org or 205.978.0150. Please do not create a second (duplicate) request in VH Connect. Small amounts of loose debris should be bagged and placed in cart for the first collection of each week. If it cannot be bagged, place small piles next to cart for first collection each week. Submit a pickup request for 15+ bags. Carts or single bags may not exceed 50 lbs. Branches may not be longer than 6’ long.
  • Is there garbage collection on holidays? Amwaste observes that following annual holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. If the holiday occurs on a weekday, service is delayed by one day following the holiday. If the holiday falls on a weekend, service will not be interrupted.
  • What do I do if my garbage collection was missed? Report a missed collection through VH Connect or contact Public Services at publicservices@vhal.org or 205.978.0150. Amwaste has direct access to VH Connect and will react to your request promptly. If the entire street was missed, please include that in your report.
  • Why was my garbage not picked up? There are a number of reasons why your garbage may have been missed, and generally staff does not know the specific reason why an address was missed or whether a truck is running late. If your residence is missed, please report the issue immediately so that it can be promptly addressed. When there are delays, the collection crews may work into the evening or recover the next day. Reporting your missed collection will ensure you are on a list to be recovered. Be sure your cart is free from obstruction, as garbage trucks are not able to access areas blocked by a parked car, etc. If a construction project is going on which is preventing garbage collection, please call 205.978.0150 to advise.
  • Is there a place I can drop off my mattress? No. Submit a “Debris or Bulk Collection” request and note that the item is a mattress to expedite collection. Collection cannot be scheduled, so please have the item to the curb when the request is placed, and it will be collected within 3-4 business days. Mattresses must be placed at the curb; mattresses propped against a wall, mailbox, etc. will not be collected.
  • Can I use contractor bags? No. Contractor bags will not be collected.
  • Will the City pick up landscaper or contractor materials? Only homeowner-generated materials will be collected. Contracted work (landscaping, construction, etc.) must be removed by the contractor. Tree services and landscapers must remove trees and large bushes which are generated from their work; home owners should check to ensure the contractor/landscaper/tree service is licensed and communicate the removal responsibility to the contractor.
  • Can I put my gas grill out for pick-up? Yes. Ensure that all tanks have been removed and submit a bulk/debris request using VH Connect prior to placing to the curb.
  • How can I dispose of shredded paper? The City of Vestavia Hills does not offer a shredding service. During the September waste disposal event, shredding is typically offered by an event partner. Shredded paper should be bagged before putting into cart.
  • How do I dispose of a dead animal in my yard? For carcasses on private property, homeowners are responsible for bagging the carcass and placing it to the curb for pick-up. (The frontage of a residential yard or business is considered private property for this purpose.) Carcasses on the street are removed by Public Services. Residents should submit a request for service via Vestavia Hills Connect.
  • Does the City have leaf collection service? No. Leaves should be bagged and placed in your cart or on the curb for collection. Carts/single bags may not exceed 50 lbs. Please place a request if there are 15 or more bags out for collection.
  • Why does the City not provide leaf collection service? The City of Vestavia Hills does not provide leaf truck service for a variety of reasons, most importantly storm drain concerns. Loose leaves piled on the curb and gutter of residences often blow/wash into storm drains while awaiting collection. The accumulation of organic matter blocks storm drains and gutters from being able to quickly drain during a heavy rainfall. The organic matter also travels downstream into surrounding water sources.
  • Do I have to bag leaves? Yes. Leaves and small debris must be bagged or otherwise containerized for collection. Loose leaves or clippings should not be put in the cart; if placed in the cart, they should be bagged. Small amounts of loose debris should be bagged and placed in cart for the first collection of each week. (Leaves and yard debris should not be placed in the cart for the second collection of the week, as it interferes with the recycling equipment.) If the small debris is too large and cannot be bagged, place small piles next to cart for first collection each week. Loose debris (leaves, pine straw, yard clippings) will not be collected unless bagged. Carts/ single bags may not exceed 50 lbs.
  • What if my neighbor puts leaves or grass clippings in the storm drain? If you witness dumping or debris being blown into a storm drain, report it via the Storm Drain Violation option in VH Connect or, if the activity is ongoing, call the VHPD Desk Sergeant at 205.978.0140.
  • What if my neighbor has unbagged leaves at the curb? You may anonymously report a “Storm Drain Violation” through VH Connect. This will not cause your neighbor to be cited for a violation or other punitive action. Our Code Compliance officer will contact the resident to remind them that leaves must be bagged for pick up. This prevents leaves and small debris from clogging the storm drains, keeps our City looking neater, and prevents loose leaves from blowing onto neighbors’ properties.
  • How do I get a new garbage cart? Submit a “Cart, Deliver or Remove” request in Vestavia Hills Connect. If you do not have a working cart and must place garbage bags to the curb, contact Public Services at publicservices@vhal.org or 205.978.0150 so that it may be communicated with Amwaste and the bags will not be missed. If you are disposing of a broken or unwanted cart that can still be used, place a sign that says “REMOVE” on the cart if possible. It will be emptied as normal until the new cart is delivered. Please note that all requests must be submitted via VH Connect or by contacting Public Services. Amwaste does not manage cart delivery/removal and the collection crew cannot accept requests.
  • How do I get a garbage cart removed? Submit a “Cart, Deliver or Remove” request in Vestavia Hills Connect. If you do not have a working cart and must place garbage bags to the curb, contact Public Services at publicservices@vhal.org or 205.978.0150 so that it may be communicated with Amwaste and the bags will not be missed. If you are disposing of a broken or unwanted cart that can still be used, place a sign that says “REMOVE” on the cart if possible. It will be emptied as normal until the new cart is delivered. Please note that all requests must be submitted via VH Connect or by contacting Public Services. Amwaste does not manage cart delivery/removal and the collection crew cannot accept requests.
  • What if my cart is broken or I do not have a cart? Submit a “Cart, Deliver or Remove” request in Vestavia Hills Connect. If you do not have a working cart and must place garbage bags to the curb, contact Public Services at publicservices@vhal.org or 205.978.0150 so that it may be communicated with Amwaste and the bags will not be missed. If you are disposing of a broken or unwanted cart that can still be used, place a sign that says “REMOVE” on the cart if possible. It will be emptied as normal until the new cart is delivered. Please note that all requests must be submitted via VH Connect or by contacting Public Services. Amwaste does not manage cart delivery/removal and the collection crew cannot accept requests.
  • How can I get a recycling cart? Recycling carts are no longer available for request, as recycling is no longer collected in a separate cart. Residents may continue to use the carts for regular garbage if they have one. If you no longer want to keep your former recycling cart, submit a “Cart Removal” request in the VH Connect. Residents who want to participate in the recycling process are encouraged to retain recyclables until the second collection day each week. No need to sort/clean recyclables – RePower South accepts bagged recycling and household waste co-mingled in a “mixed stream.” The second collection each week is transported to RePower South (RPS) and sorted to separate recyclables from waste. Nearly everything is recycled, other than food, organic waste (dirt, rocks, grass, etc.) and glass. View the RePower South recycling process video at https://youtu.be/ qOxJaOQOkPM.
  • How can I get a smaller cart? With the current sanitation service, only the large cart is available. Use of personal carts is discouraged as the collection equipment is likely to lose the cart as it is emptied. Neither Amwaste nor the City is responsible for personal carts that are accidentally dumped into the garbage truck.
  • Can I use my personal cart? Use of personal carts is discouraged as the collection equipment is likely to lose the cart as it is emptied. Neither Amwaste nor the City is responsible for personal carts that are accidentally dumped into the garbage truck. Note that each residence is allowed two carts per household. A surcharge will be assessed if more than two carts are placed for collection.
  • How can I get a roll-off container? The City does not provide or empty roll-off containers. Use a roll-off dumpster for construction/renovation projects generating significant debris is recommended. Note that a permit is required and can be obtained by clicking the Online Services button on the homepage at vhal.org.
  • Is there a recycling drop off location? No, there is no drop off within the City of Vestavia Hills. Area recycling programs may be found by searching the internet. Grocery stores often have boxes for drop off of plastic bags, other plastics, and foam.
  • How do I recycle and what can be recycled? Residents who want to participate in the recycling process are encouraged to retain recyclables until the second collection day each week. No need to sort/clean recyclables – RePower South accepts bagged recycling and household waste co-mingled in a “mixed stream.” The second collection each week is transported to RePower South (RPS) and put through a system of sorters that separate waste materials from recyclables. View the RePower South recycling process video at https://youtu.be/ qOxJaOQOkPM.

Nearly everything is recycled, other than food, organic waste (dirt, rocks, grass, etc.) and glass. (Note that large appliances – refrigerators, stoves, washers/dryers – are NOT recycled by our provider; they are transported to the landfill.) Of the remaining materials, RPS transforms approximately 70% of this waste into two products:
– Sold commodities. Recyclable commodities are baled and sold into established commodity markets.
– ReEF fuel. Some materials, such as non-recyclable papers and some plastics, are not able to be sold as a commodity. RPS recycles these materials into “ReEF” fuel, which is used as a replacement for coal in industrial and energy utility boilers.

  • Is there a compost drop off location? No, there is not a compost drop off in Vestavia Hills.
  • How do I get rid of household chemicals? Small quantities may be disposed of in your regular household garbage. If multiple bottles of chemicals are to be disposed, please spread the disposal over several collection days in order to reduce the chance that the chemicals mix in a dangerous way. Do NOT put gasoline in the garbage or trash. Hazardous waste events for Vestavia Hills are typically offered in September and May. Contact the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to inquire about other events which may be available. Please also consider donating usable chemicals.
  • When are the Hazardous Waste Collection Days? There are typically two Hazardous Waste Collection Days offered annually in the City of Vestavia Hills for the disposal of: paint; bulbs (including CFLs, fluorescent bulbs and other bulbs that contain mercury); and batteries (lithium and “button” batteries). Batteries Plus and major hardware stores typically accept batteries. The fall hazardous waste collection day typically is on the second Saturday of September, is for residents only, and includes hazardous waste collection, shredding, electronic waste collection, and medication collection. More information about the event is publicized in the weeks preceding the event. Gas cans and propane cans are not accepted at these events. The spring hazardous waste collection day typically is in May, is for residents only, and includes hazardous waste collection only. Gas cans and propane cans are not accepted.

Zoning

  • When and where does the Planning and Zoning Commission meet, and what is the deadline for submitting a case to be heard by the Commission? Meetings of the Planning and Zoning Commission are open to the public and typically held on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 6pm in the Council Chamber at City Hall. Applications and supporting documents may be submitted online via the Vestavia Hills Online Services portal at https://vestaviahillsal.portal.opengov.com. Deadline for applications for zoning/rezoning and/or conditional use approvals are 25 working days prior to the meeting of the Commission. Subdivision requests for final plats must be submitted at least 15 calendar days prior to the meeting and subdivision requests for preliminary plats must be submitted at least 20 calendar days prior to the meeting of the Commission. Questions can be directed to the City Clerk, Rebecca Leavings, at rleavings@vhal.org or 205.978.0184.
  • When and where does the Board of Zoning Adjustment meet, and what is the deadline for submitting a case to be heard by the Board? The Board of Zoning Adjustment meets the third Thursday of each month at 6pm in the Council Chamber at City Hall. Applications and supporting documents may be submitted online via the Vestavia Hills Online Services portal at https://vestaviahillsal.portal.opengov.com. Deadline for application for a variance is 30 days PRIOR to the meeting. Questions can be directed to the City Planner, Conrad Garrison at cgarrison@vhal.org or 205.978.0179.
  • How do I annex my property into the City of Vestavia Hills? Annexation laws require that all properties annexed must be contiguous to the corporate limits and must be located in an unincorporated part of Jefferson or Shelby County. Properties already located within the corporate limits of another municipality are not eligible for annexation into another municipality. Additional information, including annexation guidelines and required fees, is available within Vestavia Hills Resolution 3824. Questions regarding annexation may be directed to the City Clerk, Rebecca Leavings at rleavings@vhal.org or 205.978.0184.
  • How do I file an application for presentation to the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Zoning Adjustment? An application for Zoning/Subdivision is available online via the Vestavia Hills Online Services portal at https://vestaviahillsal.portal.opengov.com. Questions can be directed to City Clerk Rebecca Leavings at rleavings@vhal.org or 205.978.0184 or City Planner Conrad Garrison at cgarrison@vhal.org or 205.978.0179.
  • How may I obtain a copy of the City Zoning Code, Subdivision Regulations, Sign Code, or Landscape Guidelines? A copy of the City of Vestavia Hills Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Regulations, Sign Code Ordinance and Landscape Guidelines are available at https://vhal.org/zoning-ordinances-and-staff-review.
  • Is an Airbnb, VRBO or other short-term rental allowed in the City? Ordinance Number 3204 (https://vhal.org/home-sharing) prohibits the use of any dwelling or portion of dwelling of any residential property in the City for use as a short term rental (any rental 90 days or less).
  • I need a copy of a particular ordinance or I have a question about an ordinance. Who do I contact? Copies of ordinances are stored in the Office of the City Clerk and are available upon request at a cost per page. More recent, unsigned copies of ordinances can be e-mailed upon request. Questions and/or requests may be e-mailed to the City Clerk, Rebecca Leavings at rleavings@vhal.org or 205.978.0184. To view a searchable database containing the City of Vestavia Hills’ codified ordinances visit https://library.municode.com/al/vestavia_hills/codes/code_of_ordinances.
  • My neighbor claims his property was rezoned several years ago for a commercial business. Where do I obtain records of that zoning? All permanent records for the City of Vestavia Hills are located in the Office of the City Clerk. Researching older records sometimes takes time and requires adequate information about the case in question. An email containing all pertinent information regarding your request may serve to expedite your request. Questions and/or requests may be submitted to City Clerk Rebecca Leavings at rleavings@vhal.org or 205.978.0131.
  • I need a copy of my survey. Where do I obtain this map? The Office of the City Clerk maintains copies of survey maps, but is limited in the maps that are on file. Copies of “as built” surveys are not available in this office. Some subdivision maps are maintained in the archives of this department. If the information is not available, City staff will provide instruction on how to access maps at the Jefferson County Courthouse. An email containing all pertinent information regarding your request may serve to expedite your request. Questions and/or requests may be submitted to City Clerk Rebecca Leavings at rleavings@vhal.org or 205.978.0131.

Miscellaneous

  • What are the operating hours for the Vestavia Hills Civic Center? The Vestavia Hills Civic Center is typically open Sundays, 1-5pm; Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 7am-9pm; Fridays 7am-5pm; and Saturdays, 8am-5pm.
  • Where is the address location of the Vestavia Hills Civic Center? 1090 Montgomery Highway, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216, 205.978.0166
  • What is the address location of Vestavia Hills City Hall? 1032 Montgomery Highway, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216, 205.978.0100
  • How do I contact a specific City department or City staff? Contact information for all City departments, including the Library and Parks and Recreation, is available at https://vhal.org/contact.
  • A solicitor just knocked on my door. What do I do? The Supreme Court of the United States struck down and ruled solicitation ordinances such as the City’s is unconstitutional. The Court opined that an individual has the right not to answer the door if a solicitor were to call at your residence and the City cannot prohibit them from approaching you. The City recently enacted an Ordinance to regulate solicitors within the terms of the US Supreme Court. This requires all solicitors who are peddling a product to register with the City and obtain a placard to wear while soliciting. For more information and a listing of current solicitors, visit https://vhal.org/departments/city-clerk/solicitation.
  • Where can I obtain a copy of the City budget? The approved budget for recent fiscal years may be accessed at https://vhal.org/departments/finance/financial-statements. If you have any questions regarding the budget, contact Zachary Clifton at zclifton@vhal.org.
  • How do I get paid for the sale of merchandise or services to the City of Vestavia Hills? Submit your invoice or bill (complete with purchase order number) to: City of Vestavia Hills, Attn: Accounts Payable, 1032 Montgomery Highway, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216. Every effort is taken to process payables in an efficient and timely manner. For information regarding an outstanding invoice, contact Rita Hosmer at rhosmer@vhal.org or 205.978.0126. Be sure to provide the invoice number, purchase order number and any other available identifying information.