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Annexation Moratorium Now in Effect

A 13-month partial moratorium on property annexations by Tennessee towns and cities is now in effect after Gov. Bill Haslam signed the measure brought by two Hamilton County legislators, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
“I very much appreciate the governor signing the bill in that it has the minimum restrictions on the cities and it does not restrict the growth of or development in commercial, industry and retail areas,” Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, the House sponsor, said Monday. “It only protects homes and farm property used primarily for agricultural process. It only protects ma and pa and ma and pa’s farm.”
Carter emphasized commercial, industry and retail property is “specifically exempted.”
But Margaret Mahery, executive director of the Tennessee Municipal League, said towns and cities remain nervous about the moratorium’s impact on cities’ business recruitment efforts.
“My main concern is economic development and opportunities that might come along this year [and the moratorium] prevent a city from helping” make that happen, Mahery said.
Noting that job creation is one of Haslam’s top issues, Mahery said, “There could be some damage done. Don’t know where it’s going to be, but the possibility lies there.”
Haslam, a former Knoxville mayor, “deferred [to legislators] on the legislation, and after reviewing the bill in its final form, he was comfortable with the language,” said David Smith, the governor’s spokesman.