Vote "NO" to more apartments and dense developments in Germantown before it's too late.

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Many Germantown homeowners have expressed concern about the sheer number of rental apartments and dense developments that are being approved in the city.  (The already approved apartments - that will not be affected by the proposed moratorium - will more than double the number of apartments currently available in the city from 6% to over 12%.)  Residents believe these dense developments will shift the residential atmosphere and culture of ownership that is traditional in Germantown (and why many homeowners purchase in Germantown versus other communities.)  Those in power continue to cite that they haven’t heard from enough citizens to be bothered by the concerns of ‘a few’.  Is the council really representing what the people/taxpayers want - for whom they are supposed to be working?   If you too are concerned about the rampant high density growth in Germantown please sign this petition.  Say NO to more apartments and dense developments in Germantown.

In the past couple of years, especially, multiple high density developments have been approved all over our city.  The city has allowed development under a new “Smart Growth” zoning it passed which allows dense “smart growth” to bypass some of the lengthier development processes allowed in other zones.  In fact, a development in a smart growth zone can be approved by the Planning Commission without even being voted on by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA).  (The only elected officials on the Planning Commission are the Mayor Mike Palazzolo and Alderman Forest Owens.)  “Smart Growth” is supposed to ‘encourage a mixture of uses on multiple levels (ie – dense) to make best use of the city's limited developable area.’ 

Here is the list of developments that have some sort of approval in the City (not including the other developments that are currently in dealings and have not yet been submitted to the city…or the public hasn’t been made aware of details yet, anyway.)  **Note that the mayor’s proposed moratorium is virtually worthless in its current form as it doesn’t apply to already approved projects OR “mixed use” projects, which all but one of these apartments are ‘mixed use’ so would not have been affected.**

  1. TraVure (Poplar&Kirby; mixed use – 10 acre, 5- story office/retail and hotel)
  2. Thornwood (Gtwn&Exeter; mixed use – 16 acre, hotel, retail, 278 apartments)
  3. Forest Hill Heights (Winchester&Forest Hill Irene to Crestwyn; mixed use – 303 acre, hotel, retail and currently 2 apartments Watermark and Veridian ~ 600+ units)
  4. City Center/Carter (Gtwn&Miller Farms Rd – 33 acre – mixed use – hotel, retail/office, estimated 300 apartment units

There are more developments coming that haven't applied to the city for approval but are currently in the process.  Recently rumblings have begun about a new “mixed use” development coming in the highly residential triangle at Neshoba and Germantown Road.  All of these dense developments bring about a lot of changes and concerns for our city:

The proposed developments can decrease property values.  Dense apartment complexes, especially, are known to bring increased rates of crime making surrounding single family homes less desirable. Crime and traffic affects every resident in Germantown. 

Germantown schools cannot handle the increased capacity.  With portables at Dogwood and Farmington, the school system is already 500+ students over ‘maximum’ capacity numbers and the schools that aren’t over capacity are hovering at their maxes.  (**‘Maxium’ capacity numbers are roughly 100 students higher than ‘optimal’ capacity numbers in the Germantown Municipal School District’s calculations.  Do our students not deserve our operating under ‘optimal’ conditions versus what we can cram in the doors?**  Using the Germantown School District’s attendance multiple including the currently approved Forest Hill Heights apartments and single family developments the not-even-completed Forest Hill Irene school will be over capacity before the doors open.)

Schools tend to suffer as numbers of transient apartment dwellers rise.  High-quality schools are a key decision for potential home buyers, and directly impact property values.

The financial costs to the taxpayers will outweigh the benefits of revenue collected.  An apartment complex would come at a significant financial cost to the community: more traffic, road and infrastructure improvements at a cost to the taxpayer, potential for more crime necessitating increased police presence, falling property values generating less tax base, and possible decline to our public schools. 

The city of Germantown is not in fiscal duress and we are not in desperate need of the tax dollars of rampant new development.  We have the luxury to accept (or deny) developments we don’t feel are a good fit for our community.  Other land uses and/or homeowner options exist besides dense development that would bring tax dollars without detriment to the community if needed (although they wouldn’t bring as much money into developers’ wallets): single family residential, condos, senior condos, retirement communities, etc.  Options like these are more in keeping with the city’s core atmosphere/mission.

Therefore, we ask our Mayor and City Council Members to vote NO MORE APARTMENTS (whether standalone complexes or part of “mixed use developments”) OR DENSE DEVELOPMENTS INDEFINITELY.  The city of Germantown is a spectacular and quiet haven in which to live - away from the neighboring ‘big city’ bustle and traffic we could have chosen in which to surround our families on a daily basis.


Germantown, TN Residents ONLY: Please sign the following petition and plan to attend the next (and subsequent) Board of Mayor and Alderman (BMA) Meeting on Monday, January 8th at 6 pm, at the City Hall Council Chambers, 1930 S. Germantown Rd.


If you want to delve further...

For more details how the all the proposed developments change the city’s housing landscape see, “Recent Rental Apartment Unit Approvals Greatly Exceed Ownership Units” 

This explains how only two years into what was supposed to have been a ten year plan City Officials have misrepresented and already approved over twice as many apartments as the Forest Hill Heights small area plan allowed. 

For more information explore a few of the latest stories on this site.