Murfreesboro zoning measures change

Published 3:58 pm Saturday, January 16, 2010

MURFREESBORO — Zoning ordinances are seeing some changes here.

After a public hearing on Tuesday, the Murfreesboro Town Council accepted the changes as recommended by the town’s Planning Board.

The changes come after nearly a year of work by the Planning Board members with assistance from Eddy Davis with the Mideast Commission.

The revisions will help the town have additional control in the extraterritorial jurisdiction, the areas one mile outside of the corporation limits that fall within the town’s general ordinances, but not the zoning ordinances.

At the core of the changes, Davis said clearer definitions of zoning terms are provided in the new document.

Among the highlighted changes include the allowance of a conditional use permit for businesses in the central business district to have a second floor residence.

Council members discussed at length a recommendation from the Planning Board to have second floor residences entrances at the rear of the building.

“We didn’t want the residence to take away from the business,” said Davis about the rear entrance recommendation.

The residential rear entrance will be placed on the application, but current businesses with a Main Street entrance will not be penalized.

Another revision no longer allows churches in the central business district in an effort to keep the district consistent in its purpose.

In the heavy industrial zone, if an industry abuts a residence it must now have a set back of at least 100 feet from the 25 feet that was previously established.

The zoning ordinances also saw the addition of nuisance and the abandoned vehicle ordinances, which have been in the town’s general ordinances.

Under the added nuisance ordinance, grass can be at the maximum 12 inches. The former height established maximum at 24 inches.

Another addition is a stiff penalty that is now in place for those who do not comply with the ordinances. Ten days after certified notice from the town, on the 11th day a charge of $500 will be handed down for each day the violation continues.

“I think (Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer) Gene Flowers has done a wonderful job within the town,” said Planning Board Chair Hal Thomas told the board. “The sore point now is ETJ.”

The council approved the revisions to the zoning ordinances with a few changes.

Davison is currently finalizing the changes to the ordinances. Once the document is completed, copies will be available at the Town Hall or on the town’s Web site at