Tennessee House committee OKs Rep. Mike Carter's annexation curb

photo Mike Carter

NASHVILLE - Stunned lobbyists for Tennessee cities are trying to regroup after Rep. Mike Carter's bill upending the state's 15-year-old urban growth boundary law barreled through the House Local Government Committee on Tuesday despite their concerns.

The freshman Ooltewah Republican says he brought the bill affecting annexation because of Chattanooga officials' previous efforts to amend its growth plan in order to, in Carter's words, "cherry pick" affluent suburbs.

But he says the problems extend well beyond Chattanooga, and so does his bill. Calling it the "Ryan's buffet rule" after the all-you-can-eat restaurant chain, Carter says the bill requires cities to "clean" their "plates" by annexing everything in their current urban growth plans before seeking to amend them.

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