Do over: Kingsport ready to start fresh with first phase of Rock Springs annexation

Matthew Lane • Jan 17, 2007 at 9:12 AM

KINGSPORT - City planners have corrected a mistake in the annexation of 55 acres off Rock Springs Road, and city leaders are expected to move forward with the corrected annexation proposal next month.

The Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted on second reading Tuesday night to repeal the annexation of Rock Springs Area 1 - a 55-acre section located roughly across from Fiddlers Way off Rock Springs Road.

The need to repeal this annexation came about after city leaders discovered a mistake made during the initial procedure to bring the property into the city.

Kingsport has been working for more than a year to annex five areas along Rock Springs Road. The properties lead up to "The Edinburgh" a new 330-home development recently annexed into the city and the site of a new elementary school to be built by the fall of 2008.

City leaders approved the annexation of Area 1 in August, but this prompted some of the residents to file suit in an attempt to stop the annexation.

One of the arguments of the lawsuit is the city failed to display the plan of services for Area 1 in three locations - as per state law. For Area 1, Kingsport posted the plan in two locations - City Hall and the planning office.

Realizing their mistake, city leaders pulled Areas 2 and 3 from the BMA's agenda in September. The plan was to repeal Area 1, re-advertise in three places, and be voted on again by the BMA.

Now that Area 1 has been repealed, it is scheduled to again go before the Kingsport Regional Planning Commission for review, said Kingsport Planner Forrest Koder.

"We're taking it back before the Planning Commission in February. We will notify all of the property owners before the meeting, then go back to project review to make sure we have all of our ducks in a row," Koder said.

Once the Planning Commission approves the annexation, the matter would then likely go before the BMA's second meeting in March. Areas 2 through 5 have been before the Planning Commission and are ready to go to the BMA, though Koder said he does not know if he is to bring the one or all five areas before the BMA in March.

"Tentatively, I'm supposed to meet with the city manager sometime after next week to sit down and go over the five-year plan," Koder said.

The city's annexation plan called for Areas 1 to 5 be brought into the city by Dec. 31, 2006, and for three other areas - 6, 7 and 8 - to be brought in this year. The effective date of all eight annexations is still Jan. 1, 2008.

Koder said he hopes to have Areas 6, 7 and 8 to the Planning Commission by the end of the June.

"The studies have been started, but we haven't been able to compile everything. We're still scheduled to bring those sometime this year," he said.

Areas 1 through 5 consist of approximately 443 acres with 283 acres being deemed developable land. Sewer and water costs for the five areas are estimated to be $1.19 million and $696,725, respectively. Areas 6 through 8 consist of approximately 526 acres with sewer and water costs estimated to be $6.5 million.

In other business Tuesday night:

•The BMA approved on first reading the rezoning of The Edinburgh property from R-1B (single-family residential) to PD (planned development district). The three types of lots allowed in PD are patio homes, traditional neighborhood district and single-family residential lots. In addition, approximately 1.5 acres of land would be allowed for commercial development.

•The BMA accepted $3,883 from the Friends of the Library to go toward the hiring of Library Planning Associates. LPA plans to develop a strategic long-range plan and needs assessment for the Kingsport Public Library. Total cost of the project is $27,500. The remaining funds will come from the Library Commission.

•The BMA voted on second reading to increase city court costs to $50.

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