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Rep. Carter pushes bill to keep Chattanooga from ‘cherry picking’ areas to annex

FOH: We appreciate Rep Carters help with this legislation, however Chattanooga has demonstrated its disregard for current state laws in the past with the monstrosity annexation along the Exit 11 in Ooltewah for tax revenue. Chattanooga will continue to do the same in the future unless there is teeth in the new legislation that imposes fines and penalties. Residents in the north end of the county may only have one solution, incorporate, that is defensible in the State’s eyes and prevents future annexation activities from Chattanooga.

Source : Times Freepress

Reporter: by Andy Sher

NASHVILLE — State Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, is pressing legislation aimed at blocking what he calls efforts by Chattanooga to “cherry pick” affluent suburbs outside its current urban growth boundary plan.

“I call it the Ryan’s buffet rule,” Carter told House Local Government Subcommittee Wednesday, alluding to the all-you-can-eat restaurant chain. “We don’t care how much you eat. Just eat all that’s on your plate before you go back and get another plate.”

The bill would affect all cities. The panel, despite reservations voiced by one member about its impact in his district, moved the bill to full committee.

Under a 1998 Tennessee law, cities are required to create urban growth boundaries where they expect to extend as a solution to urban sprawl.

“We’re finding, particularly in my district, the city of Chattanooga has an enormous urban growth area that they’re allowed to annex,” Carter said. “Yet they’re selecting not to annex those areas which they agreed to annex when they first came to annex under the urban growth plan.”

Chattanooga wants “to open their urban growth plan and go out into what has turned into more wealthy areas and cherry-pick areas and create or expand urban growth boundaries,” Carter said. “This bill would say that before you can open your urban growth plan you must annex all areas within your currently existing urban growth area.”

Officials with the Tennessee Municipal League, which represents cities’ interests, are looking at the legislation.

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