Farmers & Greenbelts in North Hamilton County (proposed City of Hamilton)
During our town hall meetings a number of farmers expressed concerns about city annexation and farms. A number of farmers participate in the Tennessee Greebelt program established in 1971 to protect farmers from rising property cost by urban sprawl and developers. This has protected farmers for decades, but the State of TN group the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) (http://www.state.tn.us/tacir/) developed a report in 2009 to revisit this program and find ways to remove farms from the program, hence opening them up to higher property taxes for the growth of cities.
The City of Chattanooga has no provisions for agricultural properties in their charter and limitations on poultry in the city limits.
However, FOH is pro-agriculture and recognizes it as a benefit to our community for generations to come and plans on adding provisions to the City Charter to protect/promote our valuable resources. If annexation occurs from surrounding cities this will drive up taxes and force farmers to sell their properties to survive. It’s apparent the TACIR group is working to help metro governments perform this task. If you are a farmer, please talk to your neighbors and let them review the information for themselves. We ask for your support in planning our own future.