Tag Archives: moratorium

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.

Annexation Moratorium Up for House, Senate Votes

City annexations across most of Tennessee would be stopped dead in their tracks for up to 27 months under bills scheduled for final consideration this week in the General Assembly, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
The bills are a compromise from initial plans by Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, and Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, to require voter consent before cities could annex territory.
After cities and their lobbyists objected fiercely to the original bill, the legislation now blocks annexations of unwilling property owners while a comprehensive study of Tennessee annexation laws is conducted by June 30, 2015.
The bill’s effects are back-dated to April 1 to block cities such as Collegedale, which in February began annexing dozens of properties in response to the original bill.
…Watson’s bill is up for consideration this afternoon on the Senate floor. He said he’s not sure whether he will move on it or wait to see what happens to Carter’s bill in the Calendar and Rules Committee, the last hurdle before hitting the House floor.
Carter, a freshman lawmaker, has been driving the legislation, adjusting it to accommodate legislative critics.
“Things look good,” said Carter, an attorney who was a top assistant to former Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey, now Gov. Bill Haslam’s deputy.
“Things look good,” said Carter, an attorney who was a top assistant to former Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey, now Gov. Bill Haslam’s deputy.
“I think we’re going to make it to the floor, and I think we’re going to win the vote on the floor,” he said, adding that little differences in the House and Senate bills would need ironing out.
Carter’s amended bill includes the moratorium but only for residential and farm properties, not commercial properties. The study would be conducted by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.
The bill has its origins in Chattanooga’s recent annexation efforts. Carter said he and Ramsey managed to stop three annexations by Mayor Ron Littlefield, but seven others went through.
All were within Chattanooga’s urban growth boundary created under a 1998 state law aimed at providing for orderly growth rather than simply revenue-snatching land grab
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Bill Would Impose Statewide Moratorium on Annexation Until 2015

A statewide moratorium on annexation of new areas into cities would be in place until June 30, 2015, under legislation approved by a Senate committee Tuesday, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
That’s intended to give provide a “time out” while officials do a comprehensive study of the issue.
Senate State and Local Government Committee members unanimously approved the compromise, which would halt all current annexation efforts by ordinance as of April 1. It now goes to the Calendar Committee where it will be scheduled for the Senate floor.
Senate sponsor Bo Watson, R-Hixson, later acknowledged, “I don’t have the votes to get this for cities will be studied by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. The moratorium was put into the bill out of concerns cities were jumping in to annex territory now out of fears lawmakers would soon make it next to impossible except in cases of where property owners ask to be annexed.

Haslam Opposes Charter Schools Moratorium

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam says he does not support a two-year moratorium on new charter schools after the recently unified school board in Shelby County said it is considering asking state legislators to stop charter school expansion.
Haslam said Tuesday that he is not certain that he understands the point of a two-year delay in creating new charter schools and he would not be in favor of a moratorium proposal.
School board member Jeff Warren has said charter school expansion should be delayed two years in Shelby County while officials work out the merger between Memphis City Schools and the county school district, which is set to be completed in 2013.
Current state law does not authorize the Tennessee Department of Education to impose any moratorium on new charter schools.