Council to review fine print, recent amendments to Memphis 3.0 plan

By Updated: March 05, 2019 11:18 AM CT | Published: March 04, 2019 10:27 AM CT

The Memphis 3.0 plan – a blueprint for the next 20 years of development and land use in Memphis – formally goes to the City Council Tuesday for discussion. And there are some final changes to the plan, which began taking shape in November 2016.

The set of recent amendments, approved by the Land Use Control Board on the way to the council, make it clear the 3.0 plan does not change any existing land use process in the Unified Development Code or zoning map for the city.

“The Memphis 3.0 Plan is a guide for these future decisions, but the same findings of fact for each will continue to be used for these decisions,” OPD administrator Josh Whitehead wrote in a February memo. “In other words, just because a particular land use proposal is consistent with Memphis 3.0 does not mean it necessarily must be approved. Alternatively, if a project does not need any land use change, the Memphis 3.0 Plan will not affect that property. Importantly, the zoning map and the UDC will remain in effect for all properties in the City of Memphis and unincorporated Shelby County.”

The Cooper-Young and Cooper-Central areas that had been shown on the plan’s future land use map as “Anchor Neighborhood – Mix of Building Types” are now “Anchor Neighborhoods – Primarily Single Unit,” according to the same memo.

The mix in the original designation allowed for “duplexes, triplexes and quadplexes in the middle of a block and small apartment buildings on the corners of blocks.” The amended single-unit designation permits “a housing type more intense than a single-family home only at the intersections.”

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The anchor at Union and Belvedere is out of the report’s final draft.

The areas around Crosstown Concourse and Overton Square are the only two areas in Midtown with a future land use that includes a mix of building types.

The land use guidelines in the plan are a different way of classifying areas, including a trio of categories that chart where the 14 sections of the city are currently and the level of development recommended. The categories are "nurturing," "accelerating" and "sustaining."

Council members get their final briefing on Memphis 3.0 at a 1:45 p.m. committee session.

A resolution and the first of three readings on an ordinance – both adopting the final draft as the city’s plan – are up for votes by the full council in two weeks.

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The council meets at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St. Follow the meeting @bdriesdm on Twitter for live coverage and updates from committee sessions earlier in the day.

The council also takes a final vote Tuesday on the ordinance that sets up the fiscal agent to hold and administer the funding for an expansion of prekindergarten locally. The Shelby County Commission is considering a similar version of the same measure but amended it last week on third and final reading – a significant enough change to require an additional vote by the commission later this month.

The council also is scheduled to take a final vote on Berlin Boyd’s ordinance to establish a plastic bag fee of 7 cents per bag at local retailers. A final vote on the measure has been delayed twice since December.

At a 1:15 p.m. committee session, council members resume a debate from two weeks ago about a resolution by Martavius Jones that would express support for several bills pending in the Tennessee Legislature that allow for the use of marijuana for medical purposes and would decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot.

Among the appropriation items on Tuesday’s agenda for a vote is $1.5 million in capital funds for “aerial surveillance cameras” for the Memphis Police Department.

In planning and development items, the council will vote on an 11-lot single-family residential planned development by Memfixerupper LLC at 2371 Avery Ave., east of East Parkway, and a 16-lot development by Griffin Elkington of single-family homes at 2029 Elzey Ave. between Barksdale and Tanglewood streets – the old Christie Cut Stone property in Cooper-Young.

The council also takes up plans for a used-car lot on the northwest corner of E.H. Crump Boulevard at Polk. The old gas station with a garage has been used in recent years as a detailing business.

The Office of Planning and Development has recommended rejection of the special use permit for the car lot, citing, among other factors, the McKinley Park residential subdivision being developed by the Memphis Housing Authority one block to the east.

The council also is expected to set a March 19 public hearing and vote on the Poplar Arts Lofts project on the south side of Poplar between Tucker and Rembert streets.


Memphis City Council Memphis 3.0
Bill Dries

Bill Dries

Bill Dries covers city government and politics. He is a native Memphian and has been a reporter for more than 40 years.

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