Local developers are attempting to build low-income housing for senior citizens in either Lafayette or Red Boiling Springs, according to Lafayette Mayor Richard Driver. They are currently in the process of applying for a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, which is a federal program administered by the state.
Developers in Macon County received $561,980 through this program in 1997, but has not received any funding either before or since (LIHTC has been in place since 1987).
Driver said that the developers are preparing the groundwork for their application, requesting zoning changes for properties located on Akersville Raod, on the Harris property, and property owned by Tammy Driver and Dale Hix, near Key Park, as well as property in Red Boiling Springs. Driver said that they have not landed decisively on any one of these sites, but are required to have options to present the state in their application.
“They have to make sure that they’ve got access to water, sewer, and gas on any site they want to build on,” said Driver. “And it has to be zoned Multi-Family Residential, or R2. The only thing the city was involved in was getting the land zoned. And this was brought before the Planning Commission first, and the Planning Commission made sure it met all the criteria to be rezoned. And once the Planning Commission said it did, the City Council basically approved the Planning Commission’s recommendation.”
Driver mentioned that Lafayette Fire Chief Keith Scruggs is a zoning consultant for the Planning Commission, advising whether a zoning request meets requirements.
He also responded to worried comments from locals who heard of coming development on the property near Key Park. “These developers are looking for land,” said Driver, “so there’s more than just that one spot, and just because it’s being looked at by a developer doesn’t mean they’re going to build there.
“We don’t have any say so in where it goes. I assume if it does go there, the people can protest it. But on requests like that, as long as it meets the requirements for zoning, we pretty much zone it.”
Driver mentioned that developers are working under a deadline for submitting their application: February 3. “That was the rush getting all this land rezoned.”
If readers would like more information about the LIHTC, they can visit the Tennessee Housing Development Agency at www.thda.org and see Housing Development > Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. For zoning questions, they can also call Keith Scruggs at 666-2190.