Trousdale County Clerk Rita Crowder (second from the right) facilitated Monday night’s work session of the Trousdale County Commission as the body set the agenda for its upcoming meeting and listen to concerned citizens regarding a rezoning ordinance that is slated to be a part of the agenda.

The Trousdale County Commission held its regularly-scheduled work session on Monday night at the Hartsville/Trousdale County Community Center, with discussion taking place regarding a second reading and public hearing to be held on an ordinance regarding the rezoning of a property on Western Avenue in Hartsville.

It was the first work session for the newly-elected Trousdale County Commissioners.

The agenda for the upcoming Monday night commission meeting was set.

“It is just a work session tonight,” said Trousdale County Clerk Rita Crowder. “Next week will be when (the rezoning) is decided.”

If passed, the ordinance will rezone the property in question from R1 (single-family dwellings) to R3 (multi-family dwellings), thus allowing for the building of apartments and other multiple-family residences.

Presently, the developer who is requesting the rezoning is planning to build 72 apartments on the property. However, at this time, the developer’s plan is not set in stone.

However, Trousdale County Building, Codes, and Zoning Enforcement Officer Sam Edwards warned that anything could happen between now and the planning phase of the project.

“What (the developer) is intending to put there, you should be considering because he could pass away tomorrow and somebody else inherit the property,” said Edwards. “(The new owner) could do something different with it, or (the developer) could decide to do something different with it. We won’t know that until the planning phase.”

Concerning the matter, several property owners whose properties run adjacent to the property in question, attended the work session with plans to also attend the impending commission meeting.

“Initially, this may look like it will raise people’s property values, but it will not,” said property owner Tracy Fann. “It will actually decrease property values. Any surrounding property is going to be affected.”

Property owner Dillon Adams added, “I’ve worked with contractors before, and we have done studies on these properties, and it’s just detrimental to an area, an apartment complex of this nature. If it was four or five apartments or townhomes, that would be fine.”

But the detrimental effect on property value is not the only concern of property owners surrounding the rezoning ordinance.

“There are a lot of issues (with this rezoning) — floodplain issues, the influx of traffic, sewers issues, and (an increase in) crime rate in the area,” said Adams. “(Those) are major concerns.

“These apartments look great for the first (few) years. Then, they start crumbling and fall into disrepair. Then, you have people moving there that don’t own the property. Therefore, they don’t care. It’s not going to be well taken care of.”

Understanding the long-term effects of the commission’s final decision, property owners still plan to continue to voice their concerns to the county, because, according to Edwards, if the ordinance passes, the rezoning is permanent.

“The rezoning would be permanent,” said Edwards. “(If the ordinance passes), there’s nothing we could do to take it back at that point.”

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