Board Meeting Held on Tuesday

I finally got to attend a full-blown board meeting at City Hall which was preceded by a Public Hearing about the zoning overlays essentially upgrading the building requirements in certain areas.  Click on these PDF files to read more about that.

South Waldron Overlay District

Murfreesboro-Waldron Road Streetscape District

First I applaud Alderman Jerry Gann and City Planner Grant Green – and all the other people involved (sorry I don’t have names) – for making this huge effort.  It’s a good step.  Ultimately, the measures have not yet passed so they can be refined more, but expect it to be back on the table at the next meeting.

The ordinance to allow a rock quarry or mining businesses in an I-2 zone was denied.  Quarrying and mining is already in the city’s I-3 zoning and was put there in 1997.  The I-3 ordinance is currently being studied in order to further strengthen requirements.  If you have questions about it, contact any of our city elected official, including Mayor Erwin at 394-2821 or Senna Mosley at 793-2469.

A measure to prohibit smoking in any city vehicle was brought forward.  It included a smoking ban on any city premises.  However, the measure also stated that smokers were allowed in areas where ash trays were provided, so ultimately the resolution contradicted itself.  It will probably be reworked for clarification.

I think the most touching part of the meeting was when the Mayor and members of the Board of Aldermen honored Ray Pierce who had returned from Iraq.  The entire room gave him a standing ovation when he received a certificate of appreciation from the city.  I hope he knows how much we appreciate his sacrifices and service to this country.

The other gratitude I want to express is to the new reserve officers who attended the meeting briefly.  They left early in order to give a Boy Scout troop their seats, but here’s a photo of some of our men in uniform.

The most exciting part was seeing the big attendance by people speaking against the rock quarry, along with news cameras from Channel 5 and Channel 4.  Here are pictures I took during that part of the meeting…

Finally, when the departments gave their reports at the start of the meeting I took some notes that were of interest – at least to me…

  • The police department answered 3122 calls in March and issued 1783 citations
  • Codes issued 13 single family home permits and received calls/complaints about 13 junk cars, 1 tall grass, and 44 calls complaining about debris in yards.  (I hope these are correct … I wrote them on my phone “note” feature. They should at least be close…)
  • From finance, revenues exceed expenditures except for the water department which is $1.1 million in the red.  (I nearly choked when I heard that but it was explained this is due to the Nashville charging cities more and “catching up” on back fees)
  • Sales tax is down from projected
  • Average census return is 60 percent… LaVergne is already at 56 percent (which again I thought was a big number)  go to www.2010census.gov to verify!

If anyone has anything else to add to this, please speak up!  And again sorry if my numbers are off a little – I’m not a reporter and plan to stick to real estate!

15 comments for “Board Meeting Held on Tuesday

  1. mark
    April 8, 2010 at 11:01 am

    $1.1 Million in the red….wow!!!

  2. Cee Dee
    April 8, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Since the city can LEGALLY shut down the rock quarry as it is in violation of the zoning in which it is located, one has to wonder WHY DON'T THEY? Lots of speculation on this one.

  3. michaelinLV
    April 9, 2010 at 11:50 am

    I just found something interesting. I was reading the minutes from the March M/A meeting (yes, I know I'm a nerd), and I found this item interesting, Remember, this was from last month's meeting, not the recent one a few days ago:

    First Reading Ordinance 200130 An Ordinance to Amend the La Vergne
    Zoning Ordinance by Amending Sections Relating to Extraction Mining and
    Quarrying Activities to Amend Article 5 Section 02554 to Add a Special
    Exception in the 12 Zoning District for Uses not Othe ise Listed in the
    La Vergne Zoning Ordinance and to Amend Article 5 Section 04554 to
    Add a Special Exception in the 13 Zoning District for Extensive
    Manufacturing and Scrap Operations Received a favorable
    recommendation from the Planning Commission on January 26 2010

    This item was deferred at the March meeting, but here is how the vote on deferral went:

    Alderman Mosley AYE
    Alderman Waldron NO
    Alderman Green AYE
    Vice Mayor Gann AYE
    Mayor Erwin AYE

    I don't know why Waldron voted no on the request to defer this to the April 6th meeting (where it apparently failed), I just find it interesting. We know that Roy Waldron owns the land, and we also know that the city has known about this illegal operation for a couple of months and still has not shut it down. Should Waldron have recused himself from this vote since it involves a family members land?

    I still don't understand why the city has publicly stated this quarry is illegal and yet it is still operating. It just doens't make any sense…

  4. Alderman Senna Mosle
    April 9, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Michael,
    These are very good questions. This item was deferred to to the fact that Alderman Green was out of town for several weeks and missed the meeting in Feb. We were told that the city had neglected to add this type of business in a specfic zone back when they changed ordinance 96-21. This ordinance simple was changing what was allowed in I-2 zones. Immediatly following this ordinance I-3 zone was created as special exceptions only(97-09). Quarry/mining operations had their very own section. At the Feb meeting, Vice-Mayor Gann made a motion to aprrove this ord.2010-03 and failed due to a second. Since no other motion was made, this of course means no action was taken; therefore, it had to come back. It was deferred in March because Alderman Green had not had time to review this ordinance. During this time between meetings, I did an investigation and this is when I found that we indeed have a zoning ordinance that was very specfic as to quarry/mining operations being only in I-3 zones and the ordinance is 97-09. I have a great deal of info if you want it. We certainly have the right to shut this operation down and be will within our legal rights due to this ordinance. Why we are not is a question I to have!!!!

  5. Cee Dee
    April 9, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    If they do not shut it down, as it is not legal in its present zone, won't the city be open to yet ANOTHER LAW SUIT? I'm really tired of our tax money going for law suits instead of more policemen, which we need so badly. Time to get rid of the good ole boys & bring in more that are willing to do the investigating & find the answers. Good work, Senna, you're the only one who seems to do their homework. At the meeting the other night, I believe that one board member actually leaned over to the Vice Mayor & asked basically how she should vote on an issue — whether it was a good thing or not! Why didn't someone know about all of this stuff on the rock quarry prior to the meeting — you were the only one to check into it. Thank you for getting the info out to the people!

  6. Carton Lee
    April 10, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Speaking of lawsuits,how about the one where two men who were employed in the Public Works dept. won an award of $650,000. The mayor or "the city never even made a counter offer, ,just appealed. The interest on this is $200 a day. Figure that over two or three years. This was awarded by a jury and is much harder to get reversed when the award was less than requested.

  7. Opinions
    April 11, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Everyone has them; lets try to sort out some facts.
    Quarries were removed from the I-2 zoning with the intention of placing quarries in the I-3 zone. (fact)
    NO uses are permitted in the I-3 district, everything placed in I-3 is done so as a special exception. (fact)
    The zoning ordinance states what activities are permitted as special exceptions in I-3, quarries are not listed. (fact)
    There is a section in the zoning ordinance that states what is required for quarries to meet requirements for special exception, however quarries are not listed in the I-3 district. (fact)
    Now according to what I have read, quarries are not listed as a permitted use in anywhere. This would seem to make the zoning ordinance exclusionary. Which is illegal! (fact) If you are going to regulate something, you have to permit its use somewhere. (fact)
    It seems as if the Planner is trying to fix the Zoning Ordinance, which is what needs to be done.
    So Cee Dee, how can the City shut down the quarry legally when the quarry is not allowed anywhere in the zoning ordinance? Also everyone has known about the quarry for years. They blasted rock across the interstate years ago, it made the news.
    Senna, if the City is within its rights to shut down the quarry, why dont you get the City Attorney to draft a letter of notice to the operator of the quarry shutting them down? Is it because he seems to flip-flop on his opinions?

    • Alderman Senna Mosle
      April 12, 2010 at 6:17 pm

      Opinions,
      The zoning for quarry/mining has its very own section 5.054.5.(fact) I will agree that our city planner has his hands full trying to up grade our zoning ordinances, but don't try to tell me something is not there when it MOST certainly is. PLEASE read.(fact) I gave you the year the ordinance was created and ordinance number. Read those as well.(fact) As for our city attorney, I do not feel that he flip-flops at all. 99.9% of the time he is not given all the info.(fact)
      The attorney can not draw up anything without Mayor approval and does not have the authority to inforce.(fact)
      If I had the power to draft a letter and shut the quarry down I would have done so the day that I found out about the illegal quarry. (FACT) Hey, you have my city number call me!!!!!

  8. Carton Lee
    April 12, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Yes, another opinion! This zoning crap is a red herring! I would like to have a rock quarry within a few miles of a construction project that will need thousands of tons of gravel. WALDRON ROAD! I read on your facebook page that Roy Waldron owns this property. I installed cabinets in Roy Waldron built homes when I was a teenager in LaVergne,now I am old enough to draw soc. sec. I believe at one time he was one of the largest private payers of property taxes in Rutherford County. Blasting is very controlled. I live on several acres in Lavergne with some rock!! Icannot decide to blast without proper notification of city officials,Public Works,Engineer etc. I think a permit has to be pulled. When the grading permit was over-stepped "the city" had the right to close this venture. The zoning "the city" wants is approval. Where is the County Commisioner for this area. If it was close to their home?????? Our leaders swore on a Bible to uphold the best interests of the citizens. I hope I am wrong but I believe that this will be approved someway, temporary, limited use, some bassakwards way. A rock quarry is like my waistline,they both expand every year.

  9. opinions
    April 12, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Incorrect Factoid! You must have meant 5.054.6
    5.054.5. Special Provisions Applicable to Extensive
    Manufacturing and Scrap
    Operations Proposed for Location Within I-3, Special Industrial Districts. Due to the
    potential for environmental damage associated with certain noxious uses classified as
    extensive manufacturing and scrap operations, a special procedure is established for the
    review and approval of such uses.

    5.054.6 Special Provisions Applicable to Resource Productions and
    Extractions, Mining Activities and Related Services for Location Within I-3, Special
    Industrial District.

    5.054.4 I-3, Industrial District (Special)
    A. District Description:
    The I-3, Industrial District (Special) is intended to provide suitable areas for
    intense or potentially noxious industrial and scrap operations, including open
    land operations. Secondly, to protect these industrial lands from
    encroachment by other uses.
    B. Uses Permitted:
    None.
    C. Uses Permitted as Special Exception:
    In the I-3, Industrial District (Special), the following uses may be permitted as
    special exceptions after review and approval in accordance with Article VIII,
    Section 8.060.
    1. Dyeing and finishing textiles.
    2. Automobile wrecking, junk yard, salvage yards.
    3. Private sanitary landfill operations, subject to approval of the
    Rutherford County Sanitarian, the Tennessee Department of Health
    and Environment, and the City Commission of La Vergne.
    4. Chemicals and allied products manufacturing.
    5. Petroleum refining or related industries.
    6. Rubber and miscellaneous plastic products manufacturing.
    7. Chemical storage, storage of products treated with potentially
    hazardous chemicals.
    8. Radioactive materials waste handling.
    9. Waste disposal by incineration or compaction.
    10. Explosives manufacturing.
    11. Hazardous waste transfer or storage.
    12. Race tracks and drag strips.
    13. Correctional Facilities, subject to the approval of the State of
    Tennessee Department having control over such facilities, and the
    Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of La Vergne.
    14. Halfway Houses, subject to the approval of the State of Tennessee
    Department having control over such facilities, and the Mayor and
    Board of Aldermen of the City of La Vergne.
    15. Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Centers, subject to the approval of the
    State of Tennessee Department having control over such facilities,
    and the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of La Vergne.
    16. Substance Control Centers, subject to the approval of the State of
    Tennessee Department having control over such facilities, and the
    Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of La Vergne.
    17. Mental Health Facilities, subject to the approval of the State of
    Tennessee Department having control over such facilities, and the
    Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of La Vergne.
    18. Homeless Shelters, subject to the approval of the State of Tennessee
    Department having control over such facilities, and the Mayor and
    Board of Aldermen of the City of La Vergne.
    D. Uses Prohibited:
    Residential uses and limited and intermediate manufacturing activities.
    E. Dimensional Regulations
    1. Minimum Lot Area:
    The minimum lot area shall be five (5) acres.
    2. Yard Requirements
    Due to the potentially noxious activities which may be permitted within
    the I-3, Districts, special yard provisions are required.
    In its review of any application for approval of an extensive
    manufacturing activity proposed for location within a I-3 District, the
    City Council shall establish yards and building separations sufficient to
    protect the health safety and economic benefit of persons owning or
    occupying nearby property. As an absolute minimum such yards shall
    be as indicated below.
    a. Use Adjoins Residential Property: Along any rear or
    side lot line which adjoins residential property, whether
    such property is presently occupied for residential
    purposes or only zoned for such use, an open area
    unobstructed from the ground to the sky at least one
    hundred fifty (150) feet wide shall be provided within the
    industrial district. Such open area shall not be used for
    off-street loading, or storage or processing of any kind.
    b. Use Adjoins Commercial or Industrial Property: Along
    any lot line which adjoins property, either classified or
    presently utilized for commercial or industrial purposes,
    an open area at least one hundred (100) feet wide shall
    be provided. Such area may be utilized for off-street
    parking or loading, but shall not be used for storage or
    processing of any kind.
    c. Front Yard Setback . . . . . . . . 50 Feet

    Still do not see quarries as a permitted use with a special exception. So I guess we will have to agree to disagree.
    I do think #14 is funny, Halfway Houses. Because section "D" uses prohibited does not allow residential uses.
    Go Figure

    • Justin
      April 14, 2010 at 8:06 am

      I read This is LaVergne this morning and your post was very informative.
      You must be a city employee, and I would say that you are in the codes Department. You must; therefore, be part of the problem. You don't seem to understand that we don't want a quarry in the residential sections of LaVergne or aywhere in La Vergne for that matter.
      Thank YOU Alderman Mosley! You are the only one that cares.
      If some of the Aldermen would move back to LaVergne they might care.
      By the way what about this singing Mayor? Is he driving a city vehicle to these bars? How about this is he using city credit cards to pay the tabs?
      Alderman Mosley PLEASE run for Mayor and investigate all the corruption in LaVergne.

  10. Alderman Senna Mosle
    April 12, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    OOPS, I stand corrected. MY fingers do not follow my brain. It is 5.054.6 It is very clear where quarry/mining operations can go.

  11. Opinions
    April 14, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Now lets look at the Zoning Ordinance:
    5.054.5. Special Provisions Applicable to Extensive
    Manufacturing and Scrap
    Operations Proposed for Location Within I-3, Special Industrial Districts. Due to the
    potential for environmental damage associated with certain noxious uses classified as
    extensive manufacturing and scrap operations, a special procedure is established for the
    review and approval of such uses.
    5.054.6 Special Provisions Applicable to Resource Productions and
    Extractions, Mining Activities and Related Services for Location Within I-3, Special
    Industrial District.

    Both of these state what the requirements are to be approved for use as a special exception.
    The difference is that 5.054.5. is listed as a permitted use as a special exception.
    5.054.6 is not listed as a permitted use as a special exception.
    The wording of these issues is very important, if you have to take an issue to court you do not want vague language backing you up.
    I'm just saying that I am not trying to read something into the ordinance, I just read it for what it says.

  12. Alderman Senna Mosle
    April 15, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Ok everyone, you all have very good points. Justin, thank you for your kind words. Please do not get upset but I am just trying to make sure that everyone understands what is going on. The quarry is not in residential ;however, it is in very close proximity to very nice neighborhoods. Doug, you make very good points. I am not sure what was said on the fliers you are talking about, but I do know there has been a lot of confusion regarding this situation. Everyone must realize that the Board of Mayor and Alderman has never taken a vote on the quarry itself. The ordinances that were up for votes technically did not have anything to do with the existing illegal quarry. The first ordinance 2010-03 was to allow this type of business in an I-2 district with special exceptions. This ordinance failed. Now, it is my opinion and my opinion only that Ord 2010-03 was created so that the existing quarry could apply for special exception if the ordinance passed, but I can not say that the BOZA board would have approved it. Again, remember Ordinance 2010-03 FAILED. The real fact is, the quarry is in an I-2 zone and this type of business can not go in an I-2 zone period. Regardless of how our ordinance for I-3 reads the quarry is in what an I-2 ZONE. So, with that said, I can not for the life of me see how when something is illegal and in the wrong zone it can hold up in court. Opinion, you know I am always good for an opinion too!!! Thanks for what you said as well. I really think all of us are trying to go in the same direction, but just are taking different roads to get there. Bottom line, the citizens of La Vergne and their health, safety, and welfare are what matters the most.

  13. mark
    April 15, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    On a different note:

    I feel that Senna should run for Mayor. she will get in there and clean up as much as she can. The city needs a Mayor like her to do a job that really needs to be done. too much going on at city hall still with certain people and it's time. a $1.1 million deficit in a dept is not acceptable. If my checking account was short I wouldnt have it open still. If my register at work ws short I would loose my job. Lets start cleaning up the areas in the city that need it!!!

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