By MATT BLOIS
Some of Spring Hill’s aldermen want the state representatives from Maury and Williamson Counties to oppose two bills moving through the state legislature that would limit the control of local government.
One bill would limit which parts of a building’s design a local government could regulate, and another would prevent local governments from regulating short term rentals such as Airbnb.
Several aldermen expressed their opposition to the bill at the Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s work session on Monday. Alderman Amy Wurth thanked mayor Rick Graham for putting the proposals together.
“We need to do everything we can so that the legislature hears us,” she said. “We do not want additional power taken away from a municipality and given at a state level. It absolutely goes against what our founding fathers, as a country, devised for municipalities to be.”
Graham said that taking those powers from cities would be devastating. City Administrator Victor Lay said that the legislation could potentially strip cities of their uniqueness.
Senate bill 0520, sponsored by state senator Becky Massey of Knoxville, would prohibit counties or cities from making rules about the design of one and two-family homes. The bill was introduced last year, and still hasn’t become law. It was placed onto the senate calendar in January, but was later removed.
The legislation is especially relevant as Spring Hill moves toward approving a unified development code that would govern how and where developers can build. The proposed code includes a section that sets design standards for the historic downtown area and another zone set aside for high density development.
Those standards govern the types of materials that should be used and the architectural styles allowed in certain parts of the city. This legislation would limit how much control the city has over those design standards for one or two-family homes in those zones.
On Tuesday, state senators pushed back a discussion senate bill 1086, which would limit local governments’ ability to regulate Airbnb’s. Lay said that currently Spring Hill doesn’t regulate Airbnb’s.
Both resolutions would ask state legislators to oppose those bills to maintain local control. The Board of Mayor and Alderman only discussed the resolutions on Monday. They will still need to take a vote at a regular meeting to adopt them.