Bartlett tables action on Brunswick Village rentals

seal of bartlettThe Bartlett city board tabled action on a contended planned development at last week’s meeting.

On Sept. 27, they heard a resolution to approve amendments to Phase 2 of the planned development for Brunswick Village at Wolfchase, with citizens speaking up in favor of and in opposition to the measure.

Amendments included letting the developer remove the pool requirement and replace it with an outdoor kitchen near the clubhouse, installation of a six-foot privacy fence, installation of internal pedestrian walkways, and the requirement of owner occupancy.

Paul Ryan spoke on behalf of Regency Homebuilders in Germantown and said the only condition imposed by the Planning Commission that concerned him was the restriction against renting. He said that Regency has sold about 600 homes over the past two years and expects to sell 400 more this year. That amounts to 1,000 homes over a three-year period, including some in five Bartlett subdivisions.

"I think that should be a pretty good indication that our emphasis is on selling homes, not necessarily on renting them. Our intent in Brunswick Village is to offer the units for sale, and we have every expectation that it will be a successful for-sale project."

However, market conditions can change, as they did for the 2008 market collapse. So he wants the option to rent any unsold units.

He suggested a compromise: Allow rentals, but limit the number to a set amount, such as 25 percent of the planned development. That would be 15 units out of the project’s 62.

He also emphasized that he doesn’t expect to build the units all at once; Regency is a pre-sell builder, so the plan is to build them as they are sold, except for the fact that they are built in four-unit groups.

Area resident Harold Adams spoke up in favor of the project and said the developers have changed his mind. In the past, he was against it because he feared the rentals would devalue his property. His property is among the closest to the planned development.

He said the property is currently overgrown, with one gate damaged, an unkempt lake and the property rutted from four-wheel vehicles. He likes the look of the buildings planned and believes they would be an attractive addition to the neighborhood.

Another area resident, Chintankumar Patel, agreed with Adams and said the property in its current state is attracting bad activities, including one woman he reported to police because she was exhibiting suicidal behavior.

Among the residents who opposed the plan, a common element was concerns about allowing rentals.

James Harper said he’s in favor of progress and pitching in to keep the neighborhood nice, but he’s against allowing rental properties. "I moved to Bartlett with the mindset that I’m through moving. I’m tired."

He’s had property devalued in the past because of a developer’s introduction of nearby rentals. “I can’t afford to keep doing that,” Harper said. "... If it’s such a good product, I don’t understand what the worry is about having that clause where he needs to be able to rent, because it should sell itself."

Benjamin Gilliam Sr., who lives across the street from the planned development, said he likes the look of the plans but opposes the rentals. “At what point do you say, ‘I’m gonna rent it instead of sell it?'”

He fears the developer won’t do due diligence to sell as many properties as possible, and he believes that renters have a different mindset.

The resolution will again be on the agenda at the next city board meeting.

In other business, the mayor and city board:

  • Issued a proclamation honoring Bartlett City School Superintendent David Stephens for his achievement in being named Tennessee Superintendent of the Year.
  • Approved a special event permit for New Hope Christian Church fall festival to be held 3-6 p.m. Oct. 23 at the church.
  • Approved the lowest bid for city hall audio visual equipment and its installation. The bid went to Audio Communications Consultants Inc. for $119,337, plus a contingency amount of $10,000. Ross Witt PLLC has submitted a fee of $1,865 for the construction management of this project. Total cost is $131,202.
  • Accepted a proposal from Fisher & Arnold a for land survey in preparation for sanitary sewer improvements north of Old Brownsville Road and east of Old Covington Pike. It was awarded for $24,020, plus a contingency amount of $980.
  • Awarded a design contract to The Pickering Firm for the final design to lower the hill east of the Ellis and New Brunswick intersection. The contract was for $11,487.88.
  • Approved the purchase of right-of way tracts for the Ellis and Old Brownsville Road projects for a total of $32,326.
  • Approved the site plan contract for the Olympus Service and Distribution Center. City fees total $44,376.15. The bond is set at $450,989.
  • Approved the subdivision contract for Bartlett Villa. The developer, Diversified Partners LLC, will pay $11,951.50 in city fees. The bond is set at $13,200.
  • Approved a routine resolution to delete $21,000 in noncollectable property taxes, interest, penalties and associated costs from the city’s tax rolls.
  • Passed an amendment to the FY2016-17 General Purpose School Fund Budget of the Bartlett City Board of Education.
  • Passed a resolution to amend the FY2017 School Education Capital Project Fund.

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