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Council votes down subdivision annexation

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Shelbyville City Council held a meeting Thursday evening to vote on a possible land annexation, equipment purchases, and the property tax relief program.  

The highly-debated business item of the consideration to annex 25 acres for a possible new subdivision was brought before Council and unanimously voted down.  

Council member Rick Overcast made the motion to not send the consideration to the commission. This was seconded by Council member Henry Feldhaus.  

The land, located north of Lewis Avenue and west of North Linda Drive and owned by Joe Fly, Brenda Fly Clark, and Linda Fly, was brought before Council to consider a motion to forward the annexation request to the planning commission for further study.  

Much back-and-forth ensued between council members and the applicant for the annexation, Glen Cruzen, owner of Stucco Masters, a Nashville-based construction company, at the last study session on Oct. 5.  

At the study session, Cruzen said he would like to build a subdivision of single-family homes, 1,600-2,200 square feet with stucco siding, costing somewhere in the $250k to $300k range. He said the subdivision would be contemporary so that each house matches and all likely with small lots — traits that Cruzen said would appeal to young, millennial families. The land would need to be annexed so the subdivision could get sewer.  

“That’s my neighborhood over there and we don’t need any more,” said Overcast at the study session. “I’m not voting and turning you loose over there to do what you want to. I want to see right now before I vote yes or no next council meeting. I want to see what’s going to be there. Until you can prove that, I’m against it.”  

Cruzen said he lost over a million dollars in a similar situation in Decherd after their council would not endorse his idea for attracting certain businesses in their historic district after Cruzen bought half the buildings to renovate.  

“I thought it was unfair. I wasn’t asking them for money...I don’t want to get myself into that situation again,” Cruzen said at the last study session.  

“I don’t either,” said Overcast. “If it’s so good, why don’t you live in the county?”  

“Because you can’t get sewer,” Cruzen answered.  

“Yeah, it’s what we do for you,” said Overcast.  

“Well, you’re going to get more taxes,” Cruzen said. 

 “We’re going to get an eyesore, too, I’m afraid,” Overcast finished.  

City planner Waleed Albakry explained at Thursday’s council meeting that the planning commission would decide if the annexation would be a good fit, if it’s the best location for a subdivision, and if it’s in the city’s best interest as well as the details of the subdivision.  

Several citizens made comments at the last study session against Cruzen’s proposed subdivision. They were concerned over traffic congestion with an additional subdivision and environmental impacts to the Duck River waterway.  

Citizens Carlos Alvarado and Luanne Neely, who live near the 25-acre Fly property and who both spoke at the study session, wanted to convey their gratitude to council members for voting the annexation down.  

Rezoning  

An ordinance to rezone 79 acres north of the Highway 437 bypass, was passed unanimously to move the land from an R-2 (low-density residential) to PUD (planned unit development). No citizen comments were made during the public hearings.  

The ordinance to rezone 0.20 acres at 804 Morton St. from commercial to residential was passed unanimously.  

Tax relief  

The new property tax relief program was unanimously voted through. It will now match the state’s tax relief supplement to create a maximum supplemental discount of $116, instead of $53.This will apply to elderly homeowners (65 and older), disabled homeowners, disabled veteran homeowners, and widow(er)s of disabled veteran homeowners.  

Purchases  

Shelbyville Recreation Center will be getting a few new adds, including cardio fitness equipment and a track flooring installation for just over $113,000.  

The Shelbyville Fire Department will also be receiving a new MSA self-contained breathing apparatus. You can also expect a new road sign for the Shelbyville Municipal Airport.  

All other items under the consent agenda were unanimously passed 

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