Murfreesboro Council considers annexation/rezoning

Published 4:48 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2023

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MURFREESBORO – Two public hearings were held at Murfreesboro’s recent Town Council meeting concerning a property located on Storey Road, just outside of the town limits.

Timothy Harrell, the property owner, is planning to construct a housing development which would consist of 22 quads (88 housing units). But before construction begins, he first requested an annexation by the town and a rezoning for the parcel. That request required public hearings to be held first before town officials decided to approve or deny.

“It’s a satellite annexation,” explained Town Attorney Cecelia Jones, who noted that the parcel is not contiguous with the current town limits.

The town is not required to annex the property.

Jones said all of the statutory requirements for annexation had been met, with the exception of one that requires the town to provide the same services as they do for the rest of the town. Those services would include water, sewer, garbage pickup, streetlights, and paved roads.

Surrounding properties already have town water and sewer services, but the nearby lift station is in need of repairs.

Speaking during the hearing, Harrell and his attorney, Kathleen Saunders, said that they were planning to work together with the town to get that lift station fixed up to the capacity it needs to be. They previously visited a similar-sized lift station in town with their engineer and consulted with the town’s engineer as well.

But the lift station proved to be a sticking point amongst the council, who said they would like to have more detailed information on repair costs and an estimated timeline before they agree to the annexation request.

“I’m not against it,” said council member Jay Revelle. “But from a money standpoint, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with how the town’s gonna come out in it.”

Council member David Brown voiced similar concerns, noting that they just weren’t sure yet what the town’s return on investment would be, and they needed to know more when working with the town’s small budget.

Harrell acknowledged the concerns and explained that he’s committed to the housing development project.

“All we can do is put our best foot forward and ask you guys to come together with us as developers. It’s a win-win for everyone,” Harrell said.

Harrell also pointed out that the development will help bring in more tax revenue for the town, should they choose to annex the property.

The council was in agreement, however, that they wanted to have more concrete numbers on how much it would take to repair the lift station first before they made a decision.

After the first public hearing ended, they voted to table the annexation decision until their next meeting, which is scheduled to be held on Dec. 13. That same meeting is when two new council members will be sworn in, along with the three incumbents who will be serving another term.

Following that discussion, the second public hearing was held to consider rezoning the same property in question. It was zoned R20, which only allows the land to be used for single family residences or agriculture. The request was to change the zoning to R6, which does allow multi-family dwellings.

This time, they quickly came to a decision. Brown motioned to approve the rezoning request and council member Craig Dennis seconded. The vote was unanimously in favor.