Urban Growth Boundaries (UGB)
On July 10 at 5:30 p.m., the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing at City Hall on the recommendation of the Proposed Update to the Williamson County Urban Growth Boundary.
On July 17 at 6:00 p.m., the Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BOMA) will hold a public hearing at City Hall to recommend and pass a resolution on the Proposed Update to the Williamson County Urban Growth Boundary. The BOMA recommendation will be forwarded on to the Local Government Planning Advisory Committee to ratify the adoption of the updated Williamson County Urban Growth Boundary.
If you are interested in providing input, please attend both public hearings. If you are unable to attend either public hearing you may provide input by emailing UGB@springhilltn.org.
The City of Spring Hill, along with Williamson County, Brentwood, Fairview, Nolensville, Franklin, and Thompson’s Station are all working to update the Williamson County Growth Plan. Spring Hill is currently evaluating its Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), which is a defined area beyond the city limits into which the City of Spring Hill could grow into over time.
Williamson County’s existing Growth Plan, which was developed pursuant to the requirements of Public Chapter 1101, was adopted in April 2001. The Growth Plan established UGBs around each of the six municipalities, as well as four Planned Growth Areas within the County. These growth boundaries have not been altered since their adoption in 2001. Each municipality is evaluating its own respective UGB and all proposed changes will be consolidated and considered for approval through a prescribed ratification process.
Why is it important?
The state legislature required all counties in Tennessee not part of a consolidated metropolitan government to complete a growth plan. In addition to the state law requirement, the UGB sets limits for land use, transportation, and sewer basin planning efforts. Spring Hill Rising 2040, adoption of the Unified Development Code, and policy help manage growth and development throughout the city limits and the UGB.
Why is the City updating the UGB?
The UGB should be reevaluated at least every twenty years to account for infrastructure improvements, market trends, growth patterns, and other changes that have occurred.
How does this affect those in the proposed UGB?
Adoption of an updated Urban Growth Boundary does not annex a property into the City of Spring Hill. An Urban Growth Boundary is identifying where future growth may occur over the course of the next 20 years. Ultimately, it is a planning tool that helps the city forecast future needs.
How does Annexation into the City occur?
The UGB update is different from annexation. Annexation refers to the addition of properties into the corporate city limits. Annexation can only occur when a property owner willingly requests to be annexed into the City or by referendum. Property owners within the UGB are eligible to request annexation which is ultimately voted on by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen with a recommendation from the Planning Commission. There is also a process to annex by referendum, barring that the territory is not within another jurisdiction’s UGB.
What are the required steps?
The Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) Section 6-58-106 prescribes the procedures that must be followed when amending the Growth Plan. It involves an almost identical process to the original adoption process. Prior to officially proposing the amendments to Urban Growth Boundary lines to the Coordinating Committee, the municipalities must have performed the following:
- Conduct at least two (2) public hearings. Notice of the time, place and purpose of the public hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality not less than fifteen (15) days before each hearing;
- Develop and report population growth projections;
- Determine and report the current costs and the projected costs of core infrastructure, urban services, public facilities necessary to facilitate full development of resources within the current boundaries of the municipality and to expand such infrastructure, services, and facilities throughout the territory under consideration for inclusion within the urban growth boundaries;
- Determine and report on the need for additional land suitable for high density, industrial, commercial and residential development, after taking into account all areas within the municipality's current boundaries that can be used, reused or redeveloped to meet such needs;
- Examine and report on agricultural lands, forests, recreational areas and wildlife management areas within the territory under consideration for inclusion within the urban growth boundaries; and
- Examine and report on the likely long-term effect of urban expansion on such agricultural lands, forests, recreational areas and wildlife management areas.
The state law also says that municipal Urban Growth Boundaries shall:
1. Identify territory that is reasonably compact yet sufficiently large to accommodate residential and nonresidential growth projected for the next twenty (20) years;
2. Identify territory that is contiguous to the existing boundaries of the municipality;
3. Identify territory that a reasonable and prudent person would project as the likely site of high density commercial, industrial and/or residential growth over the next twenty (20) years based on historical experience, economic trends, population growth patterns, and topographical characteristics (professional planning, engineering, and/or economic studies may also be considered);
4. Identify territory in which the municipality is better able and prepared than other municipalities to efficiently and effectively provide urban services;
5. Reflect the municipality's duty to facilitate full development of resources within the current boundaries of the municipality and to manage and control urban expansion outside of such current boundaries, taking into account the impact to agricultural lands, forests, recreational areas and wildlife management areas.