Lenoir City to consider Martel area annexation
“At the request of the property owner and (Public Chapter) 1101 was adopted must have been in the early 2000s, and ... said that we could go by way of road or whatever just so that it was contiguous and annex anybody that requested that we annex them,” Eddie Simpson, city councilman and planning commissioner, said. “I don’t know what their reasons are, why they’re requesting it, but evidently we’re offering something as far as services, etc., that the county can’t offer. They just feel like it’s going to be better for them to be in the city than it is to be outside of the city.
“... Everything on the right and left going to that property are outside the city limits, they are within the county, but according to the 1101 we will have to annex the county road and the county right-of-way and we will have to maintain it from now on if we agree to annex that,” he added.
Simpson, who also serves as county road superintendent, still plans to include paving on Martel “right up to their door” in the county’s plans because state and federal money are involved. Doing so could save the city expense for years, he said.
LeMay & Associates engineer Richard LeMay, who represents property owner Sethfield LP, said hopes are to construct 102 units on the 65 acres, but that may change after further study.
“There’s nothing set in stone at this point,” LeMay said. “We are going to proceed immediately with the filing of plans with Lenoir City once the project is properly zoned and taken into the city. It is part of a former golf course. It’s the only part of the golf course that is remaining undeveloped, so it is a standalone project.”
Lenoir City Council could vote for first reading as soon Monday, Lenoir City Planner Beth Collins said.
Council will have to take a “hard look” at the annexation, Simpson said, noting a cost to the city is still undermined.

County commissioners oppose annexation

“I think the county commission just hopes that maybe city council will look at this strongly before they consider it,” Steve Harrelson, commission chairman, said. “I know they get requests from homeowners on annexation, but just to look at this certain location and make a good, honest decision that’s just best for everybody concerned. ... I just think if you annex this piece of property then the piece of property across the street, if the owner of that property comes to the city for annexation, it would be hard to turn down anybody else with the properties nearby for sure.”
Lenoir City Regional Planning Commission voted 3-0 in favor of the annexation during its May 1 meeting. Lenoir City Council could vote on a first reading as soon as Monday, Lenoir City Planner Beth Collins said.
There is nothing legally the county can do to stop the city from annexing land, Shaver said.
“As in 2004, we sued Lenoir City to stop an annexation because they violated what Public Chapter 1101 said at the time,” Shaver said. “The laws have so changed now there’s nothing to hang your hat on legally. The state legislature passed a law that said, ‘Yes, anyone in the (urban growth boundary) they can go annex it.’ Now there’s a procedure, it won’t happen overnight. There has to be public hearings and things like that.”
Shaver drafted the letter Monday night after the meeting, which will be sent to Lenoir City Mayor Tony Aikens and council members.
“Apparently, the owner’s intent to ask for annexation rests on the fact that he would be allowed to build in much greater density under city regulations than under county regulations,” the letter reads. “County regulations would only permit 2.5 units per acre. ... A large portion of land in that same area is also in the Lenoir City Urban Growth Boundary and if this property is annexed it could encourage owners of other undeveloped property to request annexation for the same increased density putting an even greater strain on the roads and infrastructures.”

Click To Read Letter

With the land more than two miles outside the city limits, Shaver worries annexation could only lead to problems.
“Immediately everybody’s going to want bigger roads, wider roads, more of this, more of that, and the county’s not equipped to handle that,” Shaver said. “The city can when it’s within the city, they have better facilities to manage. They have fire, they have everything to manage everything, but you come out here 2 1/2 miles outside the city limits and start creating little islands of the city, it’s just going to be a problem for all of us.”
In other news, Loudon County Commission:
• Revised terms for two members on the Loudon County Library Board.
• Added a list of Tellico Village lots to the March 5 commission meeting minutes.
• Rezoned 2.7 acres from A-1, Agriculture Forestry District, to C-1, Rural Center District, referenced by Tax Map 002, Parcel 081, at 12329 U.S. Highway 321 in Lenoir City.
• Rezoned 1.5 acres from A-2, Rural Residential District, to R-1 Suburban Residential District, referenced by Tax Map 079M, Group A, Parcel 008, at 880 Stephens Road in Greenback.
• Rezoned 3.5 acres from R-1, Suburban Residential District, to C-2, General Commercial District, referenced by Tax Map 009, Parcels 081, 082 and 088, at Waller Ferry Road in Lenoir City.
• Accepted Thomas Woods Way, Sycamore Way and Scarlet Oak Way into the public roadway system.
• Approved acceptance of a $10,000 donation to Loudon County Animal Shelter.
• Passed application and acceptance of $110,344 Public Assistance Grant Award for costs incurred during FEMA-4320-DR-TN (disaster recovery May 27-28, 2017). No matching funds were needed. Commission also passed application and acceptance of a fiscal year 2019 Juvenile Justice reimbursement, which usually amounts to $1,500 and has no matching funds.
• Authorized application and acceptance for a litter and trash collection grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
• Passed amendments to County General Fund 101, Public Library Fund 115, County Drug Fund 122, Highway Fund 131, General Purpose School Fund 141 and School Federal Projects Fund 142.