Knowledgebase-Proposed Annexation along Highway 321

Information Product

Title:Proposed Annexation along Highway 321
Summary:MTAS was asked to review the proposed annexation along Highway 321 within Lenoir City's urban growth boundary.
Original Author:Darden, Ron
Product Create Date:09/12/2002
Last Reviewed on::03/22/2010
Subject:Annexation; Annexation--Laws and regulations; Land use; Planning; Urban growth
Original Document: Lenoir City Annexation.pdf

Reference Documents:

Text of Document: Lenoir City Annexation.doc

September 12, 2002

Mr. Dale Hurst, City Administrator
City of Lenoir City
600 East Broadway, P.O. Box 445
Lenoir City, Tennessee 37771

Re: Proposed Annexation along Highway 321

Dear Mr. Hurst

During our meeting of September 10 we reviewed the proposed annexation along Highway 321 within your urban growth boundary. The purpose of this letter is to review our recommendations and respond to concerns that were expressed at the meeting.

With the passage of legislation 1101 cities can no longer do corridor annexations that take in just the roadway and all territory annexed must be contiguous to the existing municipal boundaries. These requirements will prevent your city from doing so called "checker board annexations" where properties are not contiguous to the existing corporate boundaries. Because of the agreement relating to the annexation of residential properties that you all made in approving your growth plan, we recommend that you exclude residential properties from the proposed annexation and annex other properties by ordinance. Working with your county planner, you should be able to comply with the annexation laws and omit residential properties.

In the case of an affected property owner located within the county's planned growth area who wants to petition for annexation, the law provides that such annexation be accomplished by either a growth plan amendment or by referendum. Although we could not find any provision for annexation requested by petition of an individual property owner located outside the urban growth boundary by ordinance, we are not sure what the county's standing would be in challenging the action that would alter the growth plan. Perhaps you could get the county to agree not to contest the annexation where it is requested by an individual property owner without having to go through a growth plan amendment or a referendum. It appears that a provision to annex by ordinance upon petition by a willing property owner was left out of the legislation and needs to be reinstated.

Since Loudon County has a five (5) percent hotel-motel tax and your city has not previously enacted a tax, your city would not be allowed to enact a hotel-motel tax within the County. You might explore legislative amendments that would exempt your city from this prohibition.

In determining what areas to include in a proposed annexation your city must decide whether to allow small developers using varying and often substandard construction standards for the construction of streets, drainage ways, water, sewer and other utilities to develop within the city's urban growth boundary or whether the area should be developed with the city having an opportunity to participate in the development and governance of the area. It would seem that a more comprehensive approach would be in the city's best interest for the future. A comprehensive approach could provide for standard sized water piping required for municipal fire flows, drainage systems that are properly sized for storm water run off, streets built to city standards that accommodate fire trucks and garbage trucks, uniform street lighting, and other city development standards. It would appear to be in the city's best interest to participate in the development of the area within the urban growth boundary rather than allow it to be developed by chance. It might be easier to fight one battle over the annexation of a large area now rather than fight many battles over annexation of the area in the future. As the area develops future annexations would probably be more difficult.

You and your city should be commended for having the vision to consider this area for annexation now rather than later.

Please let me know when we may be of further assistance.


Ron Darden
Municipal Management Consultant

cc. Melissa Ashburn, MTAS Legal Consultant