For rezoning applications, this includes a map of the area as well as comments from the relevant city departments. As always, I welcome your feedback!
April 28th Executive Session
Here are the items on the April executive session agenda that I want to highlight.
: This rezoning application is to change the zoning of property directly across the street from the Speedway gas station on the east end of Tiny Town Road. I am opposed to this ordinance for a couple reasons.
First, the city council is once again being asked to increase density on a road that has already been identified as needing improvements to support the volume of traffic it currently receives. Also, I am becoming increasingly wary of C-5 (Highway and Arterial Commercial) zoning directly adjacent to residential zoning.
There are some residents in Ward 1 that are currently dealing with an incredible eyesore because someone has decided to use property zoned C-5 to store junked and inoperable vehicles on the grass next to their homes.
: This is an eminent domain case that involves 15 properties affected by the planned Spring Creek Parkway project meant to connect Trenton Road and Wilma Rudolph Boulevard. I can honestly say that I am undecided about this ordinance.
Eminent domain often evokes images of angry landowners having their property taken by the city against their will. In many cases, this one included, that is not the reality of the situation. In the case of mortgaged properties, a lender has to agree to a sale before a landowner can sell their property, or rights to use their property, to the city.
Banks are notoriously slow in responding to this type of request, and often charge a fee to do so. In this case, the majority of the owners affected by this project are in favor of it and have reached agreements with the city regarding compensation for use of their land. Invoking the power of eminent domain forces the mortgage holders to act on these requests.
Additionally, this connector road would help lessen traffic on I-24 at exits 1 and 4 , Trenton Road, and Wilma Rudolph Boulevard; all areas we know need relief. Also, I believe we need to consider the fact that a previous city council has already passed an ordinance authorizing the city to use the power eminent domain to complete this project.
I don’t think that subsequent city councils are beholden to the votes of their predecessors but they should be considered when a project that requires as much planning as this one is involved. Half of the seats on our city council are elected every two years. If every council votes to halt the projects the previous council approved, the problems compound.
We’ve seen this in the county with the Kirkwood school complex, which had to be relocated due to votes by a newly seated county commission. Incidentally, it is the new location for Kirkwood that has driven the need to widen that part of Rossview Road which has resulted in another unpopular eminent domain case.
On the other hand, I believe that the overcrowding we’re experiencing in parts of the city is a self-inflicted wound. This is the result of adding density to areas where insufficient infrastructure exists to support it. I don’t like the reinforcing the idea that the city can continue to approve increased density, create these issues, and then solve them through the use of eminent domain.
Please reach out to me and let me know how you feel about this issue!
The Ward 1 election cycle falls during mid-term elections, which historically sees lower voter turn-out than elections where people have the opportunity to vote for the president. The last time the residents of Ward 1 voted for their city council representative, 956 voters chose the representative for a ward of almost 12,000 residents.
Going to the polls on Election Day is the only way to guarantee you have a voice in choosing your representative. Since our last election, the nation has conducted its 10-year census and our city’s ward boundaries have been redrawn to account for shifts in population. As a result, many residents may find themselves in a different city ward, or school board, county, or state district. It is important that everyone who intends to vote in primary or general elections ensures they are registered to vote.
The State of Tennessee has made it very easy to register to vote online, either through its GoVote TN website or through the GoVoteTN app on your smartphone. Click the button below to visit the GoVoteTN webside, or search Apple’s App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android) for the GoVoteTN app. The process takes less than 10 minutes and guarantees your voice is heard in upcoming elections!
What Is Your Councilman Going To Be Doing?
May 5th – City Council Regular Session
May 9th – Finance Committee Budget Overview
May 10th – Finance Committee Budget Review Meetings
May 13th – Neighborhood and Community Services Budget Meeting
May 26th – City Council Executive Session