Cornersville drops boundary changes

Friday, November 7, 2008

After the Marshall County Planning Commission voted to make an unfavorable recommendation to the Coordinating Committee, the Town of Cornersville abandoned the attempt to make changes to its Urban Growth Boundary.

"If you want to recommend unfavorable, I'll put the whole thing to bed," said town administrator Taylor Brandon at the end of the session. "I won't be upset in the least."

He had spent most of the preceding hour of the public hearing trying to explain why an extension to the UGB was a good idea.

Cornersville is going through the process of annexing land along Lynnville Hwy (Hwy 129). These properties, totaling about 1,200 acres and home to about 25 families, are within the town's existing UGB. The area includes Exit 27 off I-65 that is seen as a potential area for development once the water gets there.

"Why add additional land to your UGB when you've just taken in 1,200 acres that are not developed at all?" asked Mary Ann Neill, chairwoman of the County Commission.

"It's a 20-year plan," answered Brandon. "It's easier to plan now than go back later on."

"Cornersville's pattern of growth does not indicate you all need all this land," said Neill, continuing, "Why now? and why that much land? The County's growth plan was opened in 2006 and you guys did not change yours because you had no growth."

"Nobody wanted to open it at that time," replied Brandon. "We've had a change of administration since then."

Sam Smith and Dwight Ward whose land fronting Hwy 31-A would be inside the new UGB both spoke up against the change.

"I'm against it," said Smith. "I don't understand the urgency."

"What changed your mind since we talked?" asked Brandon.

"You misunderstood the conversation. I'd rather not be in the UGB because I'd rather not be annexed," said Smith.

Many people were at the hearing to talk about the annexation along Hwy 129. Some were passionately for it because they want city water, while others were opposed, saying that they own working farms that should not be within a city limit.

Brandon and Neill disagreed on their understanding of whether Lewisburg would run the water line if the annexation did not go through.

After everyone had had their say, the public hearing was closed, and the Planning Commission opened their regular meeting. Craig Michael made a motion to recommend unfavorably to the Coordinating Committee on Cornersville's proposed change to their UGB and Bill Derryberry seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously. It was then that Brandon said that rather than go back to the Coordinating Committee with an unfavorable recommendation, Cornersville would drop the whole thing.

In other business, the Planning Commission heard public comments on Matt Collin's request to put a sign on a 20 by 40 foot piece of land he owns on Hwy. 50. They voted to approve his request, though it still has to go before the County Commission.