VOL. 133 | NO. 160 | Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Commission Delays Quinn Road Development After Collierville Opposition
Special to The Daily News
Shelby County commissioners delayed a vote on a proposed a 500-plus home development on Quinn Road – in unincorporated Shelby County just south of Collierville – during their meeting Monday, Aug. 13.
Commissioners want to further study the proposal, which would have roughly 539 homes, each valued at $500,000. The development will target homeowners over the age of 55.
But the proposal has led to a dispute between Collierville officials and the development entity Carolyn Porter & Elizabeth Harbin Family Trust for Spouse & Lineal / Quinn Road Partners. Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner said the proposed development is contrary to the town’s Land Use Plan.
Collierville officials believe they have a voice in the matter because the development sits in the town’s annexation reserve area – an area not inside the town’s limits, but earmarked for inclusion in Collierville’s eventual boarder. Since 2015, state law requires any annexation by a city in Tennessee to get approval in a referendum of the residents of the area to be annexed.
The Quinn Road project is an important consideration of what becomes of the reserve areas mapped out by cities.
“It is something the Town of Collierville feels adamantly is not good for the Town of Collierville and for the residents who currently live in that area,” Joyner told commissioners. “We’re going to fight until we either go down in victory or defeat.”
The ordinance was sent down by the commission’s Land Use Planning, Transportation and Codes Committee chairman Terry Roland without a recommendation for approval or disapproval.
Roland, who reaches the end of his commission term on Sept. 1, said the development could result in about $3 million in additional property tax revenue for Shelby County.
“It’s helping us replenish our money, but it’s also getting it from areas where we don’t have to tax people (as much),” Roland said.
The commission’s delay allows Collierville and the developers of the Quinn Road project two weeks to reach a compromise. Neither the county nor Memphis would be responsible for sewer for the development and the Town of Collierville would not be responsible for providing police, fire or school services.
In addition to the Quinn Road project not being part of Collierville’s Land Use Plan, Joyner noted there are plans for another 389-home development in Collierville. Joyner added previous attempts of reaching a compromise with Quinn Road developers were unsuccessful, and if the ordinance passes it would result in decreased property values for Collierville residents.
Commissioner Mark Billingsley, who was prepared to vote on the issue Monday, said he sees both sides of the argument.
“It’s a very tough decision,” he said. “You’ve got a municipality that is weighing in on a piece of land that doesn’t necessarily fall in their boundaries. I’m hopeful before this (county commission) body leaves, a decision can be made. That’s only fair to the people of Collierville and the developer.”
If a compromise is not reached by the parties before the commission’s Aug. 27 meeting, commissioners will be scheduled to vote on the ordinance Aug. 27, the last meeting for the current county commission and mayor.
On Sept. 1, mayor-elect Lee Harris and eight new commissioners on the 13-member body will take office.
In other business, commissioners approved an ordinance that will soon require Airbnb operators in unincorporated parts of Shelby County to pay a 5 percent county bed tax.
Commissioners in favor of the ordinance argued Airbnb operators should be treated like every other business in the county and will help level the playing field between hotels and Airbnbs.
Commissioner David Reaves, who was against the ordinance, did not want to raise taxes on Airbnb operators, because he believed it would ultimately hurt their businesses moving forward.
After a lengthy discussion between commissioners and hearing from several Airbnb operators within Shelby County, the ordinance was approved 11-2, with Steve Basar and Reaves casting the no votes.