KINGSPORT - Annexation is officially back on track in the Model City, as the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Tuesday night approved bringing into the city limits more than 80 acres in the Rock Springs community.
During a regular meeting Tuesday night, city leaders voted unanimously on first reading to annex Rock Springs Area 2 - 16 parcels amounting to 84 acres located along Rock Springs Drive and Church View Road.
The annexation must be approved with a second, majority vote by the BMA; the matter is expected to be on the BMA's May 15 agenda. The effective date of the annexation is Jan. 1, 2008.
During a public hearing Tuesday night, no one spoke for or against the annexation.
In addition to the property annexed, the city will also be taking in 3,152 linear feet of roadway. Nearly $414,000 worth of water line upgrades and sewer line extensions will be done to the properties within five years of the effective date.
Tuesday's annexation marks the first of seven the BMA is expected to hear by year's end.
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 330-unit 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 said earlier this month he plans to bring three areas before the BMA in May - the aforementioned Area 2 and parts of Areas 3 and 5.
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.
Coming before the BMA on May 15 are the north side of Area 3 (35.68 acres) and the south side of Area 5 (62.8 acres). Campbell said the reason why Area 2 went first and why he chose to divide Areas 3 and 5 is because the city wants to take in areas that have the fewest number of people concerned about an annexation.
No date has been given on when the remaining parts of Areas 3 and 5 would be brought before the BMA.
In addition to the original five areas, city planners also had three other areas (6, 7 and 8) in the Rock Springs community slated to be annexed this year with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2008.
City Planner Forrest Koder has said preliminary work on these areas is complete, but none have been before the Kingsport Regional Planning Commission.
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.
In other business Tuesday night, the BMA accepted a donation of 14.35 acres of land in the Edinburgh development. The Edinburgh group agreed to donate the land to the city to be used as the site for a new 500-student elementary school.
According to Danny Karst, spokesman for the group, the plan for Phase 1A of the development is expected to go before the Planning Commission on May 18 for final approval.
Karst said the infrastructure work for Phase 1A has been completed and that 10 of 27 lots have already been sold. Construction on the houses is expected to begin this summer.