the state should not restrict local government authority over development – Tennessee Lookout

In Tennessee, local governments have long required developers to set aside portions of their land for public use — to widen roads or add sidewalks, for example — often over developers’ objections.

Last year, Sen. Paul Bailey, R-Sparta, and Rep. Ryan Williams, D-Cookeville, introduced a bill to limit local government authority over such developments.

Senator Paul Bailey, R-Sparta, (Photo: Tennessee General Assembly)

But a 65-page study released by the Tennessee Advisory Committee on Intergovernmental Relations advises against the move, which would have ended a longstanding practice of local governments in Tennessee requiring landowners to dedicate land for public use in exchange of approval for their projects.

The report notes that courts have found that so-called “dedications” of private land for public use are a constitutional way for governments to regulate land when new developments add to a community’s infrastructure needs and cause drudgery. other public costs.

Disputes over the extent of local government authority over development have increased in fast-growing areas of Tennessee. The bill proposed by Bailey and Williams is backed by development interests seeking less onerous restrictions.

The TACIR study came at the request of House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, after further debate over the measure.