Dickson County Mayor Bob Rial says the county and its cities need to take a hard look at land-use planning in light of the Burns fuel terminal controversy.
The gasoline-fueling depot, opposed by Burns residents, took a giant step toward becoming a reality Tuesday evening.
That’s when the Dickson County Board of Commissioners approved it by a 10-1-1 vote to settle litigation with depot developer Titan Partners that was holding up construction of the $50 million project.
The county agreed to provide Titan Partners with final site-plan approval in exchange for at least $1.4 million in concessions. Those include better and more environmentally-friendly fire suppression equipment as well as a $1 million donation to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee for Dickson County projects.
Titan, a subsidiary of Houston energy giant Buckeye Partners, expects 100 gasoline tanker trucks per day to load fuel and distribute it to local gas stations.
The settlement does not end lawsuits filed by grass-roots opponents of the project from Burns and across the county organized under non-profit Turnbull Preservation Group.
Speaking on the Power Lunch Tuesday on 101.5 The One and WDKN, Rial said old zoning at the project site paved the way for the terminal.
The nearly 35 acres that Titan Partners bought for the terminal in Burns was rezoned 25 years ago from agriculture to heavy industry and never changed when that prospective project fell through.
Once Titan was able to show that a fuel terminal was consistent with the heavy-industrial zoning, it was smooth sledding for the company, despite citizen opposition.
The Turnbull Preservation Group says the terminal will be a threat to nearby streams, traffic safety and the quality-of-life in the community.
Rial said in the future rezoning that doesn’t bear an intended project should have a sunset clause that returns the zoning to its previous designation after a specific period of time.
That would have prevented the proposed terminal site from remaining heavy industry, even though dozens of houses have grown up nearby over the past 25 years.
Similarly, Rial said Dickson County and its communities can benefit from land-use master planning to keep residential and industrial development apart as well as identify other parcels of land that might need to have its zoning sun-setted.
In a statement Tuesday, Titan said it would be a good neighbor in Burns and protect the environment and public safety.
The terminal, which will provide dozens of construction jobs and a handful of permanent jobs, will deliver benefits to the community into the future, the statement said.