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Town BMA agrees to annex, debates its use

Members of the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen agreed to annex a piece of property, but stopped short — for now — of giving the owner the zoning he had requested for the land.
William Hawk asked that a little more than 10 acres of property he owns off Old Boones Creek Road be annexed by the town. The land is adjacent to existing town limits and within the town’s Urban Growth Boundary.
Hawk also asked the town to designate the land an R-3 zone, which allows for multifamily development such as condos or townhouses.
Prior to the BMA meeting on Oct. 21, members of the Jonesborough Planning Commission pushed ahead the request for annexation to the BMA, but asked that it be zoned R-1 for now.
An R-1 zone only allows single-family residences to be built on the land.
“We’re requesting it go to R-1, which is the default zone,” Browning said at the BMA meeting. “The Planning Commission asked it not be zoned R-3 so it can be looked at.”
Since the property was not within town limits prior to its annexation, Planning Commission members wanted to start the land at an R-1 zone then notify neighboring property owners of the request for it to be rezoned to R-3.
Chuck Vest, both an alderman and member of the Planning Commission, aired concerns about what could end up being developed on the property based on an R-3 zoning.
“Many months ago, when we were annexing land on Smith Lane, we talked about creating a new zone,” Vest said at the BMA meeting. “I’d like to see us revisit creating that new zone.”
It was almost exactly one year ago that the Planning Commission first brought up the idea of creating a more restrictive zone.
Vest encouraged the town to create a zone that further limits the number of units allowed on a property and gives town leaders more control over the aesthetics of the development.
Despite Vest making a motion that was seconded and unanimously approved to develop such a zone, one was never created.
While Vest said he had no concern with the annexation of the land and “possibly none with the rezoning,” he reiterated his stance on creating a new zone during the BMA meeting on Oct. 21.
Mayor Kelly Wolfe reminded Vest that the town does have a PRD, or planned residential district, that is a little more restrictive than some of the other zones as far as the number of units allowed.
“I think we need to be even less dense than that particular zone,” Vest said.
The BMA unanimously approved on first reading the annexation of Hawk’s property, zoning it as R-1.
A plan of services was also approved for the property, which spells out the town’s responsibilities for services such as sewer, water and solid waste.
Once the annexation is approved on second reading, Hawk will have to return to the Planning Commission with his request to rezone the property from R-1 to R-3.