Town of Nolensville
Board of Mayor and Aldermen Special Meeting
Appeal Hearing –A+ Storage appealing Nolensville Adequate Facilities Tax
Date: September 27, 2007, Time 2:00 p.m.
Nolensville Town Hall
Mayor Beth Lothers opened the meeting at 2:23 p.m. Members present were Aldermen Jimmy Alexander, Tommy Dugger, Joe Curtsinger, and Ken Thomas. Alderman Curtsinger exited the meeting at approximately 2:30 p.m. Staff present: Counsel Robert Notestine, Building Official Michael Blanks, Town Planner Henry Laird and Recorder Cindy Lancaster. There was one citizen present in addition to applicant Mr. Tommy Pierce with A+ Storage and his Representative Mr. Jay West with Ferris Mathews.
Counsel Notestine initiated the meeting describing the Adequate Facilities Tax Private Act in detail. He further noted that this tax would affect this property owner and the applicant is here to appeal the imposed tax.
Mr. Jay West introduced himself noting that he was with the firm Ferris Mathews and his client is Tommy Pierce owner of A+ Storage. He noted that Mr. Pierce has built seven facilities within seven years. They currently have five under construction. He noted various locations as being Murfreesboro, Lavergn, Spring Hill, Franklin, Nashville, and Mt. Juliet. Mr. Pierce has been looking at Nolensville as a construction site for about four years. Property was purchased located on Johnson Industrial Boulevard. Mr. Pierce stated that this is the first large industry that has come to Nolensville since the passage of the sprinkler ordinance in addition to the facilities tax increase. He noted that his organization has abided by the design review request, which they were not obligated to by code or law. He further noted they are a limited partnership with family involvement. Mr. Pierce stated that this will be the final determining factor if they will build in Nolensville.
Mr. West stated that they were asking for relief from a portion of the tax, not the entire tax. He noted that the Town has the authority to levy and collect tax on new development. Mr. West read portions of the Private Chapter 100. He continually made emphasis on the statement “fair and equitable” that is used in the Private Chapter 100 document. Mr. West stated that currently the Town has a Capital Improvement Budget and has TML bonds in the amount of 2.1 million. Mayor Lothers and Recorder Lancaster corrected Mr. West noting that this is a Plan not an actual budget that was adopted by the board in 2005. Mayor Lothers explained to Mr. West that a more detailed Capital Improvements Budget was currently being reviewed to be presented to the board in the near future. Mr. West focused on the small new infrastructure in regards to roads and traffic being brought to Nolensville by A+ Storage. Mr. Pierce stated that there will only be impact on fire and police and this will be minimal. He addressed the impact on the Fire Department initially. He stated that this facility must be sprinkled. Therefore, this will reduce the need for fire services. Mr. Pierce then addressed police. He described the structure noting that there will be a fence and gate around the entire facility. Mr. Pierce stated that it is the lowest impact that he knows of in regards to an industry. He stated that it would be open to the public from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. He stated that it would not impact the schools.
Mr. Pierce noted that the office would consist of two rooms that will house offices and two restrooms with a total of 2,100 square feet. He stated that the first phase of the storage buildings would be 48,000 square feet. He stated that this would be approximate a 1 ½ million dollar total project, with the other cost of the Facilities Tax. Mr. Pierce pointed out that the project in Nolensville is about ten times more in fees than in Franklin, Hermitage and Murfreesboro.
Mayor Lothers asked the applicant if they had a total fee reduction to propose? Mr. Pierce said that he did not have a figure in mind, although he feels that it would be fair to pay the tax on the office portion of 2,100 square feet only. Building Official Michael Blanks said that fee would be $4,200 for the office area only.
Counsel Notestine noted that today is a hearing only and this board has thirty- (30)-days to make a decision. He further stated that this decision must be made in writing.
Mayor Lothers stated that she would like to follow up on the comment in regards to Nolensville’s fees being ten times more than Franklin’s. She asked if he was including the cost of the sprinkler system into these fees. Mr. Pierce stated that he was not; this is strictly the fees that Nolensville charges versus the fees in Franklin. Mr. Pierce noted that Franklin has a sliding scale for their facilities tax industry.
Alderman Alexander asked if Mr. Pierce thinks that $4,200 would be a fair assessment to utilize the Fire and Police Department. Mr. Pierce stated that he felt that was a fair amount. He noted that the entire facility would be sprinkled and there will be little impact on the Police Department because of the facility was gated. Mr. Pierce referred to the previous request that he had made to the Board of Appeals to reclassify his facility. He noted that Franklin has a storage facility under a “U” classification. He stated that this classification would allow them to not have a sprinkler system throughout the storage area. Mr. West added that the sprinkler system has to be a wet/dry system, which makes this increase in cost.
Alderman Dugger stated that he respectfully disagreed with Mr. Pierce. He stated that under the Town’s regulations he would not fall under the “U” classification definition. Alderman Dugger stated that the Board of Appeals had no other alternative but to place him in the classification that staff had determined, “S”.
Mr. Blanks stated that under the 2003 IBC Edition, which the Town has adopted Alderman Dugger is correct. Although, Mr. Blanks added, in the 1999 Edition it would be a “U” classification.
Mr. Pierce stated that he felt the $4200 would be a fair price. He noted that there will be a couple of people living at the facility and this is going to be a top-notch facility. Mr. Pierce stated that in Hermitage they constructed a 19-apartment complex. This facility had a lot of impact on the community and fees were paid accordingly.
Mayor Lothers asked for clarification and inquired to other municipalities and their sliding scale fees.
Mr. Pierce stated that in Franklin he built a 79,000 square foot building and initially paid approximately $13,000. He further noted that in Hermitage it was approximately $7,000 and Lavergne was approximately $7,300. Mr. Pierce stated that he had budgeted $10,000 for this line item in Nolensville.
Counsel Notestine inquired to any possible sales tax collected on this industry by the Town. It was noted that this company would not generate sales tax for the Town.
Alderman Dugger made a motion to relieve A+ Storage of approximately 90% of the total $93,000, which would be a payment of $15,000 in Adequate Facilities Tax for Phase One and Two paid upon payment of the building permit. Alderman Alexander seconded this motion. Alderman Alexander further stated that he would prefer to have a formula to come up with this figure.
Alderman Thomas stated that he is sensitive to the fact that they have done everything the Town has requested, although his concern is what might follow and be a repercussion from this decrease. Alderman Thomas said if there was a sure scale it would be much better and it would be in print.
Mayor Lothers stated that currently the newly formed Economic Development Committee is reviewing fees paid to the Town. She stated that this Committee wants to survey the various fees comparatively to other towns. But Mayor Lothers acknowledged the Committees work would not benefit them in the short term.
Mr. West stated that he could send a document of the findings of the information that has been reviewed today.
Mayor Lothers noted that this business would make a minimal impact to roads, schools, the Fire and Police Departments. Alderman Thomas asked if there was a way to get some information on the impact before the board selects the exact number.
Mayor Lothers stated that she felt board members were interested in providing some relief, but may not be sure of how to do it. She noted that Mr. Pierce had spoken of a traffic study that they had performed at another location. Alderman Thomas stated that he would prefer to have a method of calculation before he came to a conclusion to offer some relief.
Alderman Alexander asked if this could be on the agenda next week for the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.
Alderman Dugger withdrew his initial motion, Alderman Alexander withdrew his second.
Mayor Lothers made a motion stating that this Board finds merit in the position by the appellant; therefore this matter should be held for the next Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting at which time the finding of fact can be presented. Alderman Dugger seconded adding that he is interested in looking at a reduction for this business. He further stated that another area he considered is that the applicant has to put in a sprinkler system in the storage area. Alderman Dugger noted that although the Town’s code classified this as “S”, he feels that the code classification should be reviewed.
Planner Laird noted that the impact fee ordinance was recently passed. He noted the fee for a storage facility is $129 per 1,000 square feet. He wanted the applicant to realize this was another fee. Official Blanks added that Alderman Dugger had made a good point with a reduction of 90%. He stated that in the ordinance for the impact fee, which is a sliding scale, is 98% less than the residential fee. Mr. West appeared to be shocked of another fee. Mayor Lothers stated that she wanted it clear that this applicant has all the fees before them from staff. Official Blanks said that these fees had been given in a packet form to the applicant previously. Mr. Pierce confirmed that he had previously received this information.
The vote was taken and passed unanimously.
The meeting adjourned at 3:11 p.m. by acclamation.
Respectfully submitted, Approved,
Cindy Lancaster Beth Lothers
Town Recorder Mayor