Planning Commission Downtown Zoning Map 071619

This map shows the downtown area that would fall under a City Core Overlay for the design of new structures. The Murfreesboro Planning Commission delayed action on the measure last Wednesday.

The Murfreesboro Planning Commission on Wednesday indefinitely deferred consideration of a downtown zoning designation that would define how new structures may be built out of concern for the public’s reception to the plans.

The deferral came after a number of citizens spoke about their concerns at the meeting’s public hearing. Concerns included gentrification, demolition of old houses to cram more housing onto a lot, and whether existing homes would have to comply with new standards.

The plan is to create a “City Core Overlay (CCO) for 2,348 lots in and around downtown, city documents show.

Planning Director Donald Anthony said he hates that there was so much misinformation when the city had tried to share its plans with the community. He said that despite what some people feared, the plan is not an effort to gentrify downtown or to harm property values. The plan instead is meant to protect people’s properties.

“We’ve seen, quite honestly, an incredible and a disheartening amount of misinformation spread on social media and we simply do not have the resources to combat that. I’m not comfortable letting this overlay move forward without getting the support of the people who will be most affected.”

Overlay standards would affect land use, lot layout, building design, landscaping and parking, documents show. Current zoning would not be affected.

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