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Council defers action on major annexation

Xavier Smith • Sep 22, 2017 at 2:10 PM

The Lebanon City Council will wait up to 90 days to take action on a request to annex more than 200 acres in Ward 4 after the ward’s councilor recommended deferral during Tuesday’s meeting.

Ginger Dorris, Edward Bailey and Swingley and Smith requested annexation and zoning, plan of services and a future land-use plan amendment earlier this year for 266 acres of land at 6775 Hickory Ridge Road, 2385 Martha-Leeville Road, 780 Highway 109 N. and 6775 and unaddressed property on Hickory Ridge Road.

“This is a significant development down there,” said Ward 4 Councilor Chris Crowell. “Last council meeting, I made the motion to defer action on that item so that we could sit down with some folks from the city and the developer one more time to get some input from some folks. Had an opportunity to do some of that, and we are not really where we need to be to make a decision on that, in my opinion, tonight.”

Several neighboring residents voiced concerns about the project during a Lebanon Planning Commission meeting in July, citing road width, implications of construction in the area and the density of the potential future development.

“It’s estimated that the worst-case scenario is this will generate about $1,500 worth of property tax a year for the city, with an estimated cost to serve it just under $1 million. So, there’s a 621-year payoff, and that’s a worse-case scenario,” said city planner Richard Donovan during the meeting, who called the move risky for the city.

Mike Wrye with Lose and Associates represented developers and questioned the figures presented by the planning staff during the meeting, noting they did not take into consideration potential fees and sales tax revenue during and after construction.

“With all due respect Mike, if we cut it in half, it’ll take 300 years to pay it back. It’s not a deal I want to be a part of,” said planning commissioner Mack McCluskey.

“I think having a fiscal approach to planning is conducive. I do think there is some room to argue about the numbers,” Wrye said.

“Our intent is to determine the impact on the city as a whole,” Crowell said. 

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