KINGSPORT - After months of delays, including a lawsuit by local residents and a technical "do-over" by city planners, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen is expected to consider annexing three areas of land in the Rock Springs community next month.
Kingsport planners have been working for more than a year on annexing eight areas in the Rock Springs community - areas that lead up to a 300-plus housing development off Rock Springs Road called "The Edinburgh." Five of the areas were scheduled for annexation last year with the remaining three slated for this year. The effective date of all eight is still Jan. 1, 2008.
However, a lawsuit by residents in Area 1 caused the city to put all of these annexations on hold. To overcome a claim made by these residents, the city de-annexed Area 1 and advertised the plan of services in three locations as required by state law.
Now that the lawsuit has been rendered moot, City Manager John Campbell plans to bring three areas before the BMA next month.
Kingsport planner Forrest Koder said Area 2 is scheduled to go before the BMA on May 1 while parts of two areas are slated for May 15 - the north side of Area 3 (35.68 acres) and the south side of Area 5 (62.8 acres).
Area 2 is 84 acres and includes portions of Kanan, Church View and Rock Springs Drive. Area 3 is 75 acres and includes land along Rock Springs Road between Rock Springs Drive and Rock Springs Valley Road. Area 5 is 75 acres and includes the land around and adjacent to the new elementary school being built off Rock Springs Road.
Koder said no neighborhoods will be included in the three areas, rather single, individual houses that front Rock Springs Road. Koder said he does not have figures on the number of people living in the partial areas going before the BMA.
Koder said he has completed the preliminary work on Areas 6 through 8, but none have been before the Kingsport Regional Planning Commission.
Previously, the city planned to annex the areas in numerical order. Now, the city is looking at areas containing the least number of people concerned about annexation, Campbell said.
"I wanted to know a little bit more about Area 1 and the planners felt like these other areas were better to go at this time," Campbell said. "We prefer to take in those areas which have the least number of people who are concerned about an annexation.
"We're just trying to deal with the annexation as best as possible now."
Campbell said he could see bringing all eight areas before the BMA by the end of the year as a possibility.
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, and would tie into the utilities being run to The Edinburgh.
Areas 6 through 8 consist of approximately 526 acres with sewer and water costs estimated to be $6.5 million.