Robertson County, Tenn., commissioners narrowly rejected a rezoning proposal that would have enabled real estate developer Corey Richardson to pursue a self-storage project on 7.5 acres across from the Glover Hills subdivision. Several residents spoke against the development. The commission voted 12-10 against rezoning the parcel from agricultural to commercial, according to the source.
Richardson told commissioners he intended to use “the best buildings you can buy” and would incorporate barrier and landscape buffers around the property to help shield it from the neighborhood. “The last thing I wanted to do was make anybody mad doing this,” he said. “That was not my intentions, and I’m not going to apologize for trying to better myself or my family.”
Homeowners primarily raised concerns about potential losses to their property value, while others insisted the self-storage facility would generate noise and create a community safety hazard. “With this type of facility being proposed, you put all of us who live within the proximity of this building at a potential public risk,” resident Christy Gilbreath told commissioners. “Self-storage does not monitor what’s going in it, [and] therefore, it leaves opportunities for hazardous situations to occur, whether it’s hazardous materials or potential drug operations.”
Gilbreath cited a statistic she said she got from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which said 38 percent of seized methamphetamine labs were found in self-storage facilities, the source reported. Although a 1996 DEA report titled “Methamphetamine: A Growing Domestic Threat” does indicate “storage facilities often are used to house or safeguard chemicals, glassware, and finished product,” it doesn’t specify types of businesses where labs have been shut down. “Although traditionally located in sparsely populated or isolated rural areas to avoid detection, as laboratory seizures reported to DEA indicate, 52 percent of the clandestine laboratories seized in 1995 were located in urban and suburban sites,” according to the report. “Rural locations were reported in 38 percent of the seizures and industrial or commercial sites in 5 percent.”
County commissioners rejected the rezoning proposal despite a favorable recommendation from the planning commission, which approved the measure with a 7-2 vote.