Planning & Zoning Vote “No” On Cedar Hill Housing Development
CEDAR HILL TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) -During the June 3rd Planning and Zoning meeting, our local officials denied the proposed R20 rezoning and development. The meeting was well attended by Cedar Hill residents that largly came to express their opposition to the project.
Smokey Barn News broadcast the meeting live. Click here to view a recording of the meeting.
A recap by Cedar Hill’s City Commissioner/ Vice Mayor John Edwards.
According to Edwards, the reasoning of the proposed site would have pushed the home density too high for the community, see map below. In a letter to Smokey Barn News, Edwards addresses his concerns for the housing project.
“I think that it goes to show that a community that is united and has a genuine concern, can have a say in its community and its future,” said Cedar Hill’s City Commissioner/ Vice Mayor John Edwards. “Our county is in a situation where it’s growing rapidly. Growth is a good problem to have but it’s also a problem we must manage and keep responsible.
“I’ve been approached by many developers and builders who took offense to our objections to the proposed rezoning in Cedar Hill. I think it’s important to remember that with growth; it’s not either/or, there’s a middle ground. That middle ground is where developers can continue to develop and landowners can continue to have the right to use their property as they wish. The middle ground is where we can preserve our heritage and rural roots while ensuring that small rural communities are not treated like the bigger cities that are nearby.
“Responsible growth begins with all of us taking responsibility; municipalities, officials, developers and the general public. It’s also time to actually use and abide by the 2040 Growth Plan which was adopted by the county and married into its Planning & Zoning Ordinances. The growth plan was created with the goal of allowing appropriate growth in the appropriate areas and saving the rest for rural farmland and other agrarian activities. We are beginning to see the issues with not abiding by the growth policies where we’re seeing big developments and subdivisions pop up in areas where that growth isn’t intended or appropriate.
“I’d like to call on our county leaders to return to using it as a template and a blueprint for growth. I’d also like to see Planning and Zoning move to ensure that developments meet the requirements and growth policies that are laid out in the 2040 Growth Plan and present them with the same weighted importance as infrastructure. The 2040 Growth Plan is used like a user guide to a board game, you can play without it, but you really use it and reference it when you’ve got an issue with something. Let’s instead use it to ensure we’re getting the right growth in the right places.
“It’s also time to begin the discussion of closing open ended zonings. The particular piece of property that we were opposing in Cedar Hill was zoned R40 back in the 1970’s and has always been used for farming. I’d like to ask that our county close zoning loopholes by requiring future zoning changes, especially larger ones, to submit a timeline for construction and completion to ensure that land is moving toward being developed for its intended purpose. If after so long; with no activity, then the property would resort back to its original zoning classification.
“Development in our county is lightning fast and especially so when big national home builders are coming in and building as fast as they can before the housing bubbles inevitably bursts. Our county needs to be further proactive and recognize that there are long-term costs with developments such as expensive infrastructure upkeep or improvements and expanding basic services and essential services such as education, police and fire departments. Even the need for increased funding for those services needs to be happening before our growth outgrows the capability and capacity of the County. As the saying goes, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.”