Moratorium Halts Residential Annexation in Tennessee

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Harrison Pirtle
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Updated: 4/25/2013 7:13 pm
What started out as an attempt to require a public vote before a city could annex new residents, turned into a year-long moratorium in the state of Tennessee.
State Representative Mike Turner of Ooltewah says he didn't get what he wanted, but the issue is not dead.

Governor Bill Haslam has not signed the bill yet, but Republican lawmakers say he will.
The legislature debated and amended the legislation introduced in the house by Representative Mike Carter...until it took its present form.
Its now a moratorium that halts all annexation of residential areas for a year.
Carter initially wanted citizens to get to vote on any annexation.

REP. MIKE CARTER, OOLTEWAH "Everyone in Nashville said this is Mike Carter's problem and Bo Watson's problem in Chattanooga..nothing could be further from the truth. There were, 8 or 11, I've heard both not sure which, bills filed to stop annexation from across the state."

The city of Collegedaleis booming.
Its leaders have been moving ahead to annex industrial areas and some undevelopment property where housing areas are bound to spring up in the near future.

MAYOR JOHN TURNER, COLLEGEDALE "We obviously are always going to adhere to state law. So if the state legislature says we can no longer annex , unless its by referendum, we'll be happy to abide by that."

REP. MIKE CARTER "We're not against annexation ..we're not against cities growing....but so many of these cities have written me and they're pretty upset with Bo and I."

MAYOR JOHN TURNER "The Urban Growth boundary which was passed back in 2000, said that municipalities have a right to annex, without the citizens having an opinion and fundamentally, that's wrong."

Mayor Turner says his city has ceased all residential annexation plans.
Other cities around the state have also put their expansion plans on-hold until further notice."

Representative Carter says Tennessee is one of only three states in the nation where residents do not get to vote on being annexed.
And he points out the law will not stop cities from annexing commercial and industrial properties.

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