Council defers big development, sanitation fee

Sinclaire Sparkman • Sep 18, 2018 at 8:21 PM

After comments from multiple citizens and a legal concern from the city attorney, the Lebanon City Council deferred 10 items on the agenda at its meeting Tuesday evening.

Three developments were affected by the deferral, 53 acres at 522 Old Laguardo Road W., 59 acres at 6438 and unaddressed Hickory Ridge Road, and 56 acres at 2763, 2765 and 2801 S.E. Tater Peeler Road. Each development had multiple items on the agenda. The council deferred the items because at least one in each development was sent from the Lebanon Planning Commission with no recommendation. According to state law, a city’s planning commission must make a recommendation on a zoning or annexation, either positive or negative, to the city council before the council may vote on it.

“After the last planning commission meeting last month, several came up with no recommendation votes, so I had a legal concern about it and started looking into it. Based on established state law and statutory law, my opinion is that the city council just does not have the legal authority to vote on something that has not received some kind of recommendation from the planning commission,” said city attorney Andy Wright.

Planning director Paul Corder told the council the items deferred at Tuesday’s meeting would appear on the agenda for the planning commission’s meeting Tuesday, and then would appear on the council agenda Oct. 2 for first reading and be finally considered at the second meeting in October.

Several citizens attended the meeting to oppose two of the deferred developments. Terry Alexander spoke out against the development on Hickory Ridge Road, citing traffic and sewer concerns.

Milea Oakley took the microphone to oppose the S.E. Tater Peeler Road development, and about 25 people stood up in support of her points. The development would add about 190 homes to the area.

“These are the people who live in this area, and I feel like a majority of people are opposed to this. We’ve had discussions with the council on road issues, narrow bridges,” Oakley said. “My biggest concern is regarding sinkholes.”

Other residents of the area, including Evelyn Wright, Judy Rae, James Vanhook and Randall Oakley cited concerns of water pressure, the density of the development and safety.

The council also deferred an ordinance that would put an $11 sanitation fee in place for residents within the city limits of Lebanon. The fee would be reduced to $9 if the resident decided to recycle under the ordinance. Currently, the city’s optional recycling program costs $15 per month.

Funding for trash pickup currently comes from the general fund, which is paid for through property and sales taxes.


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