Owners of 28-acre tract near I-65 petition for annexation
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
In a surprise move on Monday, Bob and Dixie Francis filed a written petition with the Hartselle city council requesting the annexation of their 28 acres of prime commercial property on Highway 36 near I-65.
Their request, along with others from adjoining property owners totaling 35 acres, will be considered by the Planning Commission at its May 3 meeting and could be acted on by the council as early as its regular meeting on May 24, according to Jeremy Griffith, city planner.
"Rezoning is involved and that requires a public hearing," he said. "It all depends on being able to get a notice of the hearing published in time."
Francis stated in his petition, "This request is in response to a gentleman's agreement with the city on January 7, 2002, whereby voluntary annexation of this property was contingent on widening and modernizing State Highway 36 in the vicinity of the above said properties from I-65 west. The city of Hartselle committed to this by Resolution 02-0108A on January 8, 2002.
"Dedicated team effort by city government, the chamber of commerce and the Hartselle Development Board has resulted in $1.3 million federal money being recently earmarked to begin these highway improvements."
Francis said he is satisfied the city has met its commitment.
"I have been a strong proponent of commercial development and economic growth in Hartselle all along," Francis said. "Since 2002, I have supported the city's efforts to economically develop this area by dedicating 1.3 total acres to the public domain for additional right-of-way along Highway 36 and Francis Road and for utilities easements along Highway 36, Francis Road and Kyle Road.
"This is a good step for the city," Mayor Dwight Tankersley said. "This property is highly desirable for commercial development and has a number one priority for annexation in our comprehensive plan."