Arlington reduces setbacks in commercial district

Arlington, Tenn., town sealThe Arlington mayor and board of aldermen approved zoning ordinance changes and budget amendments at Monday’s meeting.

The zoning changes reduce the size of setbacks in the commercial districts. Town planner Heather Sparkes said this allows the city to have buildings closer to the road and be able to use the parking areas to the side and rear of the buildings.

Existing building setbacks really discourage developers from doing that, she said.

The Dec. 1 reading of Ordinance 2014-2 about zoning was the first reading. It will go into effect after the second reading at the Jan. 5 meeting.

The vote was unanimous for all city officials present; alderman Glen Bascom II was absent.

Budget changes

For this school year only, the Shelby County Schools district will pass along funds for repairs at Arlington schools. Before the Arlington Community Schools (ACS) district was created, the county district formed its capital improvements plan (CIP) budget, including line items for Arlington. So in a one-time only process, the funds must flow through the country district’s budget to benefit the new school district in Arlington. The funded projects include:

  • Arlington Elementary School for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) replacement ($300,000), cafeteria/ kitchen re-roofing ($40,000) and HVAC controls ($88,000)
  • Arlington High School for painting ($342,000) and gym re-roofing ($80,000)

Other area municipal school districts have been routinely approving similar agreements with Shelby County Schools at recent meetings.

The board also approved amendments to the district’s 65-page budget for this school year. The changes don’t add up to any additional costs for Arlington because funds come from other sources: $62,460 from the Shelby County Commission toward construction of a new field house at Arling-ton High School and a booster club contribution of $60,000 for the same project.

Other business

In other business, the board also:

  • Heard the November fire report from fire chief David Franks. The department had 76 runs in November, bringing the year-to-date total to 866. Of those 76 runs, 39 were for emergency medical services (EMS), 18 fires and 19 motor vehicle accidents. The department gave mutual aid to other departments 14 times and received it 12 times. Two blood pressure checks, five smoke detector checks and 16 fire inspections were performed. Of the month’s calls, 24 were for areas south of Interstate 40. The department was unavailable one time.
  • Heard about progress toward starting the fire department’s building renovations. Plans go to the printer Wednesday afternoon and should be available for pickup by Friday afternoon. There will be a pre-bid meeting on Dec. 9 for potential bidders. Bids are due by Dec. 23 and will be opened around 2 p.m.
  • Adjusted the town’s holiday hours for December because Christmas falls mid-week this year. Town hall will be open for part of Dec. 24 and closed on Dec. 25-26.
  • Heard a summary of the Shelby County Sheriff’s November report for Arlington.
  • Entered into an arrangement with Arlington Community Schools (ACS) Board of Education for the lease of Apple computer equipment and services. The lease will be with the city because the district cannot enter into lease agreements for more than one year. The school district will make all lease payments.
  • Discussed lighting improvements around city hall.
  • Praised Arlington student athletes for achievements so far this year.

Written by Carolyn Bahm, Express editor. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to