VOL. 133 | NO. 170 | Tuesday, August 28, 2018
County Commissioners Approve Quinn Road Development
Special to The Daily News
Shelby County commissioners approved a 500-plus home development on Quinn Road – in unincorporated Shelby County just south of Collierville – with one key amendment change during their meeting Monday, Aug. 27.
The vote on the proposal – first brought to the commission two weeks ago – was delayed to give more time to Collierville officials, who were against the development, and the development entity Carolyn Porter & Elizabeth Harbin Family Trust for Spouse & Lineal / Quinn Road Partners to reach a compromise, but discussions proved unsuccessful.
The proposed development has roughly 539 homes, each valued at $500,000, and will target homeowners over the age of 55. Commissioner Terry Roland previously said the development could potentially add $1.8 million in property tax revenue for the county.
Collierville officials believed they had a voice regarding the proposal 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.
Commissioners voted 9-2 in favor of the plan, with commissioners David Reaves and George Chism voting against the ordinance and commissioner Steve Basar abstaining.
The amendment added to the original proposal was to eliminate access to Highway 72 from the development, which the developers were against and the town of Collierville had no issue with. It remains unknown how the amendment will ultimately affect the developer’s plan.
The meeting Monday was the last for the current County Commission and Mayor Mark Luttrell. Eight new commissioners and Mayor-elect Lee Harris will be sworn in Thursday afternoon at the Cannon Center. All current and departing commissioners were recognized for their time on the commission at the beginning of Monday’s meeting.
Commissioner-elects Edmund Ford Jr., Tami Sawyer and Michael Whaley attended Monday’s meeting.
In other business, the commission overrode Luttrell’s veto by an 8-4 margin regarding an ordinance that would limit the power of the mayor to seek outside counsel and bar any county elected official from using special counsel to file a civil lawsuit against the commission.
The ordinance also requires commission approval for the county attorney to hire outside or special counsel, unless the county attorney certifies to the commission chairman that the matter those attorneys are hired for will not go over $50,000 in hourly rates or contingent fees.
“We needed (the vote) to happen to continue our (opioid) lawsuit; it’s going to have a big effect on that particular piece,” commission chairwoman Heidi Shafer said.
Commissioners Basar, Reaves, Mark Billingsley and Walter Bailey voted against the override.
The new commission can overturn the ordinance at the beginning of their term if they chose to do so.
Shafer also withdrew her resolution that called for changes in the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County or EDGE. Shafer added a resolution at the commission meeting two weeks ago that would have taken the power to hire or fire the president or CEO of EDGE away from the county mayor and Memphis mayor and transfer that power over to the County Commission.
The resolution, if approved, would have also resulted in the creation of a joint city-county committee of county commissioners and Memphis City Council members along with the chairman of the EDGE board to select new EDGE board members.
Shafer said with the creation of the EDGE task force committee and a meeting set for Wednesday, there was enough “positive” momentum that a resolution was no longer necessary.
“Now we have something in place that will help advise the new commission,” she said. “It seemed to me we’d give them the authority to make those recommendations and take a deep dive on it as opposed to pushing it through. Which was my plan all along.”