MT. JULIET – The Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners talked a lot about area growth Monday night as a possible moratorium on the agenda could’ve put a stop to development in the city.
At the commission meeting an ordinance, sponsored by Commissioner Ray Justice, was on the agenda that asked for a moratorium on acceptance of applications for multi-family homes to go before the Planning Commission until a plan is developed to ensure the health and safety of the residents of the city.
The moratorium, which many referred to a “the ‘M’ word” all evening, garnered much discussion from the commission, as well as supporters and dissenters in the crowd, who both favored and were against the city’s growth efforts.
Mt. Juliet-West Wilson Chamber of Commerce President Mark Hinesley was one to speak against the moratorium. Hinseley said he believed a “comprehensive growth plan is “a must” and that “stopping growth would be unnecessary and detrimental to the community’s future.”
Justice then added his reasoning, saying halting growth was not part of his plan at all.
Justice, instead, said his hopes and wishes were the city could keep up with its own plans and expansions and not get lackadaisical in providing necessities, like infrastructure, to the booming population.
“It’s like inviting people to your house for a cookout and not having enough to feed everyone,” Justice said. “We’ve always said ‘more rooftops, more retail’ and my intentions are not to stop that, but just to get the attention of developers that we’re at a breaking point south of I-40, our infrastructure is struggling.”
Mayor Ed Hagerty said he was pleased with the city’s growth and planning, and he was impressed at how well Mt. Juliet has kept a high quality of life with the growth over the years.
“We’ve got more plans than you can shake a stick at, and through it all I think we’ve done pretty good,” Hagerty said.
Hagerty said with the plans and growth, though, comes a need for elected officials to get the ball rolling on issues that comes in tandem with the growth.
“We have plans and studies, which is great, now we need the political will to implement things,” Hagerty said.
In the end, Justice removed his quest for a moratorium from the agenda and reiterated he was not against growth or planning in the first place, but wanted to make sure the city learned from its growth in the future, especially on the south end, and plans for what else comes with growth, whether it’s infrastructure or the likes.
“I’m not going to ask for this moratorium, but I am going to ask that we all look to hold our elected officials accountable.”