Lakeland bolsters code for more sanitary lots, rescinds Evergreen Square plans

Lakeland’s city board tightened code on overgrown and dirty properties and acted on the stalled Evergreen Square development at its Sept. 14 meeting.

Mayor Wyatt Bunker and Commissioner Clark Plunk were absent, but the board had a quorum to conduct business.

No audience members spoke for or against amendments to the city’s code regulating overgrown and dirty lots in a public hearing at the meeting. The board approved the new ordinance on its final reading. It requires property owners to manage the growth of trees, vines, grass and underbrush and the accumulation of trash to avoid endangering citizens. The ordinance limits grass to six inches in residential zones and 12 inches in non-residential zones. Conservation easements and natural areas are exempted.

The ordinance also states that the city can clean up at the property owner’s expense if he or she doesn’t remedy the condition within 10 days of receiving notice of a violation.

Development changes

Lakeland logo copyVoting in their role as the Sewerage Commission and as the Board of Commissioners, the three board members present rescinded all previous plan approvals associated with the Evergreen Square Planned Mixed Use Development.

The board’s resolution noted that bankruptcy had dissolved the development’s ownership and that the property owners want to develop the properties individually.

The mixed used development includes 7.5 acres of commercial property, 50 assisted living quarters and 20 townhomes. One owner wants to proceed with a new development, Evergreen Manor Subdivision, but approving that new development’s sewer concept plan first required rescinding the sewer concept plan approval for Evergreen Square.

Commissioners next approved the concept sanitary sewer plan for a 32 single-family lot subdivision to be known as Evergreen Manor. The approximately eight-acre property was originally part of Evergreen Square and is on the west side of Evergreen Road about 475 feet north of the north right-of-way of U.S. 70. Billy G. May and William R. May own the two parcels of land involved in the subdivision.

Other business

A public hearing on amending parts of Lakeland’s Land Development Regulations drew no participants. The changes were minor and included clarified language, requiring letters of compliance regarding lighting and landscaping installations, and regulating the width of residential driveways. After the hearing, the board approved the amendments on their final reading.

The board removed one item from the agenda: A proposed resolution to expand the no parking area at the intersection of Kingsridge Drive and Clubview Cove.

They also tabled discussion on a proposed ordinance to regulate the location and size of Lakeland’s alternative financial services (AFS) such as cash advance and check cashing sites, pawn shops and title loan establishments. If approved, this ordinance would limit them to U.S. 64, placement at least a mile from the property line of another AFS, and a maximum of 2,500 square feet of gross floor area.

The board added one resolution to the agenda, authorizing the city manager to enter into a sale agreement for $275,000 for the city-owned property at 9996 Memphis Arlington Road. It passed unanimously.

In other business, the board cancelled the Oct. 5 work session and moved its regular business meeting from Tuesday, Oct. 17 to Thursday, Oct. 5 at 5:30 p.m. The change is designed to accommodate the school district’s fall break.

CAROLYN BAHM is the editor of The Bartlett Express. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to