Germantown bans new apartment projects

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Germantown is hitting the brakes on growth, banning new apartment projects for the next year and a half.

There was overwhelming support from residents and many aldermen to stop the building of apartments in Germantown.

For now, there's a hold in certain areas of town stopping the building of new apartments.

Germantown's Mayor Mike Palazzolo called the moratorium a pause on the building of multifamily home project the city's future.

It was a debate Monday night that lasted more than two hours. It filled with emotion and confusion as Germantown's Board of Aldermen hashed out the details of the moratorium.

It was a move nearly every person in the standing-room-only meeting wanted.

"The issue is primarily the schools . It's the stability of the schools because when you have apartments, you do have higher mobility numbers so that affects both the learning of the children that are coming in and out of the school as well as the children in the schools," Germantown resident Marlene Strube said.

Overcrowding in schools, on the roads, and property value impact of new apartments were the reoccurring themes throughout the night by residents.

"I think it diminishes the overall property value. We've all lived here for a number of years and try to have nice homes and all that. And the idea of apartments, it kind of goes against that," Bruce Whitestone, a Germantown resident, said.

The city's elected officials went through every aspect of the moratorium with a fine tooth comb trying to tweak even the smallest words to protect the community of Germantown from the changes.

The only approved change amended the word multifamily homes to the word apartments.

This moratorium did not stop the four projects already approved which are in various stages of development, but does stop more from popping up in certain spots for the next 18 months.

For some, that decision wasn't good enough. They are unhappy with the number of apartments already in the city.

"I think that this moratorium is too little too late," Strube said.

During the next 18 months, the city of Germantown will study how more apartments could create a disproportionate use of city services, traffic, and schools.

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