The Smithville Planning Commission Thursday night voted to take under advisement a proposal to annex several properties into the city along Highway 70 just outside the western city limits. However, the commission stopped short of making a formal recommendation for annexation to the mayor and aldermen until up to date cost estimates are provided for implementing the required plan of services to the annexed area, specifically sewer.
City planner Shannon Copas gave a general overview of the plan of services during the meeting and city public works director Kevin Robinson provided 2008 sewer cost figures.
"The staff's recommendation after going out there and looking at it (properties) is to zone it B-2. That way it would not be a spot zone. It would be an extenuation of the current zoning district," said Copas.
"There is an example plan of services here. It basically outlines when services are going to be provided. We have to do this under Tennessee Code Annotated (state law). It outlines when (city) police and fire protection will be provided to this area. It also outlines the water situation. Sanitary sewer. I think in this one (plan) we put five to seven years. We can always change it. This is just an example. It (plan) contains some information about street construction and repair. It addresses solid waste collection and disposal and recreation facilities. All the planning commission does is make a recommendation on a draft to the city and make sure everything looks good," said Copas.
Commission Chairman Wallace Caldwell and member Norris Colvert said they wanted to see more specifics on costs. "Don't anyone think I'm against annexation but I think before I would be willing to make a request to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to annex this property I think we need to have a little bit more figures as to what it's going to cost. That's strictly my opinion," said Caldwell.
"I agree with you Mr. Chairman," said Colvert. "I don't think we're in any position to do anything but to take it under advisement and get our arms around some of the answers to these questions. At least we can get some ball park costs associated with these kinds of services if we're going to be recommending the support of the mayor and aldermen to approve this," he added
Colvert made a motion to take the matter under advisement until the next meeting. Glen Nichols seconded the motion. All members voted in favor of Colvert's motion including Mayor Jimmy Poss, Aldermen Shawn Jacobs and Jason Murphy, and members Wade Smith, Dwain Snow, and Hoyte Barrett along with Chairman Caldwell. If the city comes up with new cost estimates before next month's regular meeting, a special meeting might be scheduled to take up the issue.
The planning commission cannot approve annexation. It can only recommend it to the mayor and board of aldermen.
If approved, the properties Ed Young, Mike Foster, Dr. David Foutch, Pat Walls, John Kilgore, and Jim Beshearse would be annexed. The area includes almost seventeen acres on the south side of Highway 70 from the existing city limits to near the intersection of Highway 83 (New Home Road). It would take in the Kilgore's restaurant property, which belongs to Foster; Dr. Foutch's Eye Care office; and parcels of land belonging to Kilgore and Beshearse. Facing the Old Snow Hill Road, the residential properties of Beshearse, Walls, and Foster would be annexed. On the northside of Highway 70, another fourteen acres of undeveloped land belonging to Ed Young would be annexed along with the old Beshearse grocery store building. Young's property is located across the highway from Kilgore's Restaurant.
Due to a state moratorium on annexation, the city cannot take the initiative on its own without a request. The property owners have to petition the city for annexation.
State law also requires that all annexations include a Plan of Services (POS). The POS outlines those services, such as sewer, that will be made available to the land being annexed and the timeframe within which services and/or amenities will be provided.