Construction in Huntsville, Ala., for medical office space

Five buildings planned or starting construction, most slated for medical offices

The changes came after Crestwood Medical Center and residents of the surrounding neighborhoods agreed to a new medical district zoning - M-2. Under that zoning, buildings can be no taller than five stories, must have extensive landscaping and be at least 100 feet from the nearest residential property line.

City Councilman Bill Kling, whose district includes parts of Whitesburg Drive, said the new medical buildings are a result of that cooperation and the tendency for physicians to locate near hospitals.

The construction boom has a downside, though: More traffic. During a council work session Thursday night, Kling urged City Transportation Director Richard Kramer to accelerate plans to widen Whitesburg Drive from California Street to Airport Road.

"I think seven lanes needs a hard look," he said.

Staff writer John Peck contributed to this story.