CONTROVERSIAL BURNS FUEL TERMINAL KEEPS MOVING AHEAD AS ZONING APPEAL FAILS TO DERAIL PROJECT
By Dave Barkholz
Opponents of a proposed fuel terminal in Burns lost their zoning appeal Tuesday, moving the controversial project a major step closer to reality.
The Dickson County Board of Zoning Appeals voted 3 to 1 to allow the project to go forward.
The terminal will be a depot for gasoline trucks to get fuel and deliver it to gas stations around the region.
The appeals board rejected the arguments from opponents, led by the Turnbull Preservation Group, that the county planning department should have deemed the terminal a refinery requiring a special exemption to the heavy-industrial zoning it now has.
The only appeals member who sided with opponents was local builder Greg Hogin. Those voting to uphold the zoning were David Smith, Aaron Robertson and Fritz Sanders. Robyn Smith was absent.
Titan Partners, a subsidiary of Houston-based Buckeye Partners, is planning to build and operate the terminal.
The project will cost $50 million and employ about 125 in the construction of storage tanks, roads and fuel-loading equipment. Only a handful of employees will be necessary to operate the depot.
Opponents say the facility will be a polluter and create a traffic hazard with more than 100 trucks per day coming and going from the terminal with gasoline and other petroleum products. The 37-acre site is near the I-40 and I-840 interchange in Burns.
Titan Partners intends to have the terminal open by the fourth quarter of 2021.
At the appeal Tuesday, Titan’s attorney Tom White of Nashville argued that the project was consistent with its M-1 heavy industrial zoning in that the facility will warehouse fuel. M-1 zoning permits warehousing.
A pipeline has run through the property for decades. And it will supply the fuel that will be stored onsite and loaded into tankers for gas stations around Nashville.
The opponents had appealed on the grounds that fuels will be mixed there and that the project should have required a special refinery-related waiver.
In a statement after the meeting, Titan Partners thanked the Board of Zoning Appeals for hearing its evidence and noted that the terminal will be a long-term investment in Dickson County’s future.