Environment and Natural Resources NewsTracker

Jackson Annexation Advances; Tullahoma Leader Pitches Historic Zoning

The city of Jackson has extended police, fire and other services to a 7-square-mile area northwest of the city it is annexing, the Jackson Sun reports. The annexation, which prompted a lawsuit from affected property owners, will be completed later this month.

The newspaper talked to residents John and Susan Durfee, whose home was among the property the court exempted.

“We’re still very much against the annexation,” John Durfee told the newspaper. “We love living here. We don’t need any of the amenities they offer.”

Susan Durfee compared her situation to that of the country’s founding fathers: “We really feel the need to be less and less dependent on the government. Our country was founded by people who were self-sufficient. They grew their own food, made their own clothes, took out their own garbage.”

In other zoning news, the city administrator in Tullahoma has suggested the public does not understand what is and is not historic, and that once they understand they will embrace his plan to set up historic zoning in the city. But administrator Jody Baltz hinted at flexibility, saying his plan would allow for honorary designations for property where owners did not want to participate, according to a report in the Tullahoma News and Guardian.

Baltz said the public first needs to be educated about what is historic in Tullahoma before historic districts can be created.

“We want to identify what has historic significance, then educate people about what’s historic and then designate what’s historic,” he said. “We want to come up with a document that will have support.”

The News says a 2005 effort fell flat.

Concerns expressed from residents whose property could be in those districts regarding potential costs and requirements associated with maintaining historic themes led to establishing historic sections in Tullahoma in name only.

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